What happened in Leicester?

As part of our series to understand more about the situation in Leicester’s garment factories and to educate others, we explore what actually happened in Leicester.

9 September 2020

In June, Labour Behind the Label published a report that implicated Boohoo and their factories as exploiting workers and putting them at risk of COVID-19 infections and fatalities. You can read the report here.

The Times published an exposé on Leicester’s textile factories, also implicating Boohoo, that found workers were being paid as low as £3.50 per hour. This was from an undercover journalist who worked in one of the factories. Read more here.

The Financial Times reported on what the underlying issues of the Leicester scandal were. See the article here. This was a follow up to another article which was published in 2018 highlighting the exploitative practices in Leicester’s textile factories. You can read it here.

Boohoo has since dropped the suppliers who were implicated in this scandal, however cutting off suppliers does not solve the problem and just displaces it. You can read more about why working with suppliers is preferred here.

There have been some great reports dissecting this scandal, including:

  • FLEX’s Emily Kenway discusses the government failures that perpetuated this open secret.
  • Modern slavery professor and human rights barrister Parosha Chandran demonstrates how this type of exploitation is wide reaching.
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Kieran Guilbert shares various insights from leading anti-slavery professionals.
  • The Centre for Social Justice explores Leicester as a case for what happens when criminality is allowed to thrive without any consequence.

Next we will be looking at the history of Leicester’s garment factories and how the hidden exploitation was actually well documented.

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