A Guardian investigation has revealed that fast fashion brand Boho is selling clothes made by Pakistani factory workers who say they face stressful situations and earn 29 paise less an hour.
In an interview in the industrial city of Faisalabad, workers at the two factories claimed that they were paid 10,000 PKR (47) per month, less than the legal minimum wage, for unskilled labor of 17,500 PKR. While the clothes sold by Boho are also made.
Documentary, video and photographic evidence also support possible safety claims, including motorbikes parked indoors with flammable materials. Inside the rush to make clothes in the western market, insiders claimed that workers sometimes shifted 24 hours a day.
More than a dozen workers interviewed: “I know we exploit less and pay less than legal exploitation, but there’s nothing we can do; if I quit, someone else will take my place.” Will be ready. “
After the Guardian contacted Boho about the findings, the company suspended the supply company, JD Fashion Limited, and a factory, AH Fashion, while it investigated the claims.
Another factory, Medina Gloves, has denied workers’ claims that it was recently making clothes for Boho. AH Fashion, which is closed for construction, acknowledged that it has met the recent October order for the brand.
Boho said a third-party audit by AH Faris on November 2 found no problems with the factory operating. It was later said that its own auditors had visited separately in response to the allegations, saying the factory was a “building site”. Auditors said they were told by the owner that it was closed for major construction in November. The claim was disputed by activists who said they had been there recently.
The Guardian was able to buy one oo 30 Tracksuits on Boho’s website Video footage filmed at AH Fashion this month showed similarities between clothing and identification labels. A week after Boho was informed of the allegations that the item had been paid less than the minimum wage, it remained on sale.
The news comes months after Boho, Britain’s most popular fast-fashion brand, suffered the consequences of discovering bad conditions at factories in Leicester. Its share price has since begun to rise, and investors have seen it in September 51% year-over-year increase in profits.
While the firm Code of Conduct for Suppliers The people working in two factories in Samanabad area of Faisalabad have prepared a minimum quality list which should be met by its garment manufacturers anywhere in the world.
Although some are paid the legal minimum wage, others say they earn too little to record their low income and receive no receipts or pay.
In Medina gloves, which manufacture many garments, workers are often ordered to work in unreasonably long shifts without overtime pay, which extends straight to 24 hours before the big deadline.
The facility provided by Madina gloves is complete and one worker said that he was not running water for several days in a day.
The video footage watched by the Guardian shows:
The potential risk of fire in AH Fashion, including a pile of fabric standing in the walkway and near a boiler, and a clip showing a motorcycle box with a cardboard box. A visitor told the Guardian that he had seen similar problems at the factory three weeks earlier.
AH fashion workers under construction at their stations and with balanced scaffolding on the brick pile.
The factories, which employ more than 100 people each, denied any wrongdoing and said workers were paid according to local laws. Madina Gloze said claims of low pay and abuse of workers were “totally wrong”, while AH Fashion said workers were always paid and treated fairly.
JD Fashion, an intermediary based in Preston, which supplied items to Boho in AH Fashion, said its last order was in October and there was no Boho order at the time, while AH and Medina He denied that he was currently supplying boho. JD Fashion has nothing to do with retailer JD Sports.
Boho said he “will not tolerate any form of abuse or instability from garment workers.” He said he was unaware that his clothes were being made in Medina Glenn, and that AH Fashion was not on the list of approved suppliers for JD for the order to be sent to the UK on December 11.
The Guardian purchased the color 30-color block track suit from the equipment, which was matched to a design that appeared in one of the videos recorded in AH Fashion – and featured a distinctive “JD” label that no other The clip was found stuck in an item.
Other videos and photos taken at the two factories also confirm the workers’ claims that they are currently making clothes for Boho, featuring brand labels and logos.
Audit professionals, who asked to remain anonymous because of their position in the industry, watched videos showing clothes, motorbikes and poles piled on the bricks in AH Fashion and said they could fire footage. And consider general safety questions.
An auditor who watched the video said they presented potential issues but not conclusive evidence of the level of risk. Another called them possibly “prescriptions for destruction,” adding: “If I do [was asked] To audit, I will refuse and ask [the] Brand immediately to take the goods out of the factory; if I see this I will leave the factory. AH said construction work and lack of space were responsible.
In July, Boho’s stock market price fell by 1.5 1.5 billion in two days. The company accepted the recommendations of a report by Allison Levitt QC, which described its attitude towards the plight of workers in the city as “unforgivable”.
Speaking to MPs last week, its billionaire co-founder Mahmoud Kamani acknowledged that Boho’s model of permanent expansion came with risks, saying: “In a business like ours that is growing rapidly globally There will be things that are breaking down, and we are fixing them all the time and improving them. He also warned that they could do more business abroad, saying: “For us. To get out of Leicester, it’s very easy for us to take all our production overseas. “
Boho pointed out that he said “immediate action” had been taken to address the problems in Leicester and suggested that a similar approach be taken in Faisalabad. As part of our international compliance program, AH Fashion received a Summit [Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit] An audit was conducted in November 2020, where no such case was found, so the allegations are highly relevant.
“Independent compliance and auditing expert bureaucrats are in the field in Faisalabad and we have instructed them to immediately investigate these claims; any supplier who does not treat its workers with the same respect that Boho Supply Chain I have no place. “
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