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Online fashion brands Boohoo & Amazon face calls to pay living wages in their global supply chains; Incl. co. responses

Photo credit: Labour Behind the Label

In June 2019, Labour Behind the Label launched a campaign and petition calling on online fashion brands Boohoo and Amazon to pay workers in their global supply chains a living wage and put this commitment into its supplier policies. In Labour Behind the Label's Tailored Wages UK 2019 survey, both brands failed to show they had any policy for ensuring workers who make the clothes they sell are paid enough to live with dignity and support a family, despite being among the biggest players in online fashion.

In July, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Boohoo and Amazon to respond to the campaign. Both Amazon and Boohoo responded and their responses are included below. 

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Company response
15 July 2019

Amazon's response

Author: Amazon

...Amazon products, including fashion and apparel, must be manufactured in a manner that meets or exceeds the expectations of Amazon and our customers as reflected in our publicly available Supplier Code of Conduct... including requirements that suppliers must pay their workers in a timely manner and provide compensation (including overtime pay and benefits) that, at a minimum, satisfy applicable laws.

... We have dedicated teams across the globe that work directly with suppliers in key sourcing regions to track and report performance and set senior executive level goals, including goals that focus specifically on improving working conditions for apparel factory workers.

Download the full document here

Company response
15 July 2019

Boohoo's response

Author: Boohoo

... We recognise our duty of care to the people involved in the creation of our products...

... Our top 4 sourcing countries (UK, China, India and Turkey) account for approximately 71% of the goods that we sell. Further, we have worked with 50% of our suppliers for 4 years or more...

  • We have worked with our suppliers to introduce electronic payroll systems within their operations – 90% of our suppliers based in the UK now have an electronic payroll system and a programme is in place to ensure that all suppliers operate with an electronic payroll system. This improves the transparency of payment practices giving us visibility of contracted hours, time sheets and pay slips.
  • We have an external whistleblowing policy which provides a platform for suppliers and their employees to raise concerns directly to us about non-compliance...
  • With effect from 1 August 2019, we have improved our payment terms so that all UK manufacturers will be paid within 14 days of the date of their invoice.
  • We have entered into partnership with Slave-Free Alliance, part of Hope 4 Justice, who will help us to continue to improve the rights of workers throughout our supply chain.

Download the full document here

Article
28 June 2019

Labour group calls on Amazon & Boohoo to pay a living wage in their global garment supply chains

Author: Labour Behind the Label

"Tell Boohoo and Amazon to pay a living wage", June 2019

Online fast fashion is a growing market. Consumers buying super fast trends in high volumes as seen on instagram and youtube means factories are under huge pressures to produce fast orders at low costs. This often impacts on human rights, including the right to a living wage. 

Boohoo and Amazon are some of the biggest players in online fashion, but in our recent survey – Tailored Wages UK 2019 – both brands failed to show they had any policy for ensuring workers who make the clothes they sell are paid enough to live with dignity and support a family.

We are calling on Boohoo and Amazon to recognise publicly that workers who make their clothes should be paid a living wage wherever they are in the world, and to put this commitment into their supplier policies...

Read the full post here