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Boohoo publishes list of UK suppliers as part of new sustainability strategy

The fast-fashion retailer established new targets to achieve “smarter” manufacturing of clothes, better terms for suppliers and a lower carbon footprint

Boohoo Group PLC - boohoo publishes UK supplier list, launches new sustainability strategy

Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) has cleaned up and published its list of UK suppliers as it stopped working with more than 400 firms as part of a new sustainability strategy.

The fast-fashion clothier has made an effort to increased transparency following reports of poor working practices in its Leicester supply chain last July and a subsequent investigation.

READ: Boohoo is a ‘buy’ but not for the faint-hearted, says Berenberg

It said that its consolidated UK supply chain list is the result of extensive mapping and auditing work, while suppliers will continue to be monitored frequently.

The group has been working with independent auditors Verisio and Bureau Veritas to carry out unannounced visits to suppliers and over the last eight months, with most suppliers being audited twice.

The AIM-listed online retailer also announced ‘UP.FRONT Fashion Ready for the Future’, a sustainability strategy establishing new targets to achieve “smarter” manufacturing of clothes, better terms for suppliers and a lower carbon footprint.

Boohoo said that Sir Brian Leveson PC, the High Court judge who is providing independent oversight of the Agenda for Change programme, in a new report also published today, noted that the depth and detail of supplier audits have “dramatically” changed working practices in the Leicester area.

“We are driving positive change in the industry and want to play our part in rebuilding a vibrant manufacturing base in Leicester, one that offers good employment and great prospects for the workers and the industry in Leicester as a whole,” said chief executive John Lyttle in a release.

Analysts at AJ Bell noted that boohoo could become a model example of how the world will no longer accept substandard business practices, but it is "by no means a perfect business" following its ESG efforts.

"There is still the fundamental issue that its business model facilitates waste – low pricing points means customers often buy a dress, wear it once and then chuck it," said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“There is also the issue that Boohoo faces the possibility of a US import ban relating to labour issues in its supply chain. The company previously said it wasn’t aware of an investigation, but from the market’s perspective this remains a live risk."

Shares rose 2% to 337.84p on Thursday morning.

--Adds analyst comment, shares--

 

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