fashion

Boohoo appoints retired judge to oversee supply chain improvement


Boohoo has appointed retired judge Sir Brian Leveson to provide
independent oversight of the group’s Agenda for Change programme which it
launched in September following an independent review into the fast-fashion
group’s UK supply chain.

In his new role, Leveson will report directly to the board and his
reports will be published, “thereby bringing both transparency and further
independence to the process”, Boohoo said.

The former judge, who was president of the Queen’s Bench Division and
Head of Criminal Justice, has also appointed both legal and independent
enquiry and enforcement specialists to supplement the Agenda for Change
programme.

“Boohoo has recognised that it must institute and embed change so that
everyone involved in the Group’s supply chain is treated fully in
accordance with the law and the principles of ethical trading,” Leveson
said in a statement.

“I look forward to providing independent oversight of the Agenda for
Change programme and to working with the boohoo team, KPMG and the other
independent experts to achieve this, while, at the same time, providing
publicly available progress reports.”

It comes amid a bumpy year for Boohoo, with an independent review of the
retailer’s UK supply chain, concluded in September, finding “many failings”
in the factories of some of its suppliers in Leicester.

The review was launched after an undercover investigation in July by The
Sunday Times alleged some of the Leicester factories supplying clothes to
Boohoo were paying workers just 3.50 pounds per hour and forcing some to
work while sick. Boohoo denied claims of illegal wages.

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Boohoo then announced its Agenda for Change programme in which it set
out six steps to enhance its supplier audit and compliance procedures,
including the bolstering of its corporate governance through the
appointment of new independent directors and the launch of a Supply Chain
Compliance Committee.

In recent weeks, Boohoo appointed KPMG to assist with the programme to
work with the group’s growing responsible sourcing and compliance team, and
existing supply chain auditors Bureau Veritas and Verisio.

Mahmud Kamani, group executive chairman, said: “I am encouraged by the
progress that has been made to date by our teams since setting out our
Agenda for Change programme in September.

“Myself and the board are fully committed to this programme, with the
appointments of Sir Brian Leveson and KPMG bringing independent oversight,
additional expertise and further transparency to a programme that will help
us on our journey to lead the fashion e-commerce market globally in a
transparent manner.”

Photo credit: Boohoo



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