Fashion News: SWEATSHOP CONDITIONS LINKED TO BOOHOO
The Wardrobe Crisis
THERE’S LOADS GOING ON ON THE HIGH STREET THIS WEEK. CLAIRE KALIKMAN ROUNDS UP THE HEADLINES
The Sunday Times has put out a deeply researched - and deeply disturbing - investigation into fast-fashion site Boohoo’s supply chain, after a journalist went undercover in a factory in Leicester that allegedly pays workers as little as £3.50 an hour. What’s more, cramped factory conditions risk fueling the spread of coronavirus. (The article is now the subject of a legal complaint from Jaswal Fashions Limited.)
The Times report comes just weeks after the company offered bonuses of £150 million pounds to its two founders, and other executives.
Brands often claim that they do not have knowledge of, or are not responsible for, labour conditions managed by subcontractors. But when you’re selling 6 pound bikinis, it’s hard to see how workers across can be been paid a fair wage. Boohoo announced yesterday that they would do their own investigation into their supply chain.
In the US, everyone’s talking about Kanye West’s partnership with Gap. Some say the Yeezy collaboration will save the beleaguered basics brand. Strikes us as an odd pairing, but according to the The Cut, Kayne says he’s always been a fan and will reshore production. What are your thoughts? This news served as a distraction from his sisters-in-law Kylie and Kendall Jenner are accused of not paying garment workers in Bangladesh for their clothing line, which they deny. Time to #payup.
Can fast fashion be sustainable? H&M’s latest endeavour is a second-hand shop called Sellpy - they own a 70% stake in the company. It doesn’t sound like Sellpy will sell exclusively pre-worn H&M goods (though that’s a fair chunk of what you find in many op shops these days anyway). The question is: can a brand that sells cheap clothes meant to be worn only a few times offset that damage by setting up a second-hand shop encouraging more use out of clothes? What do you think?