Sir Brian will report directly to the board and publish reports into progress made under the company’s Agenda for Change programme. He has also appointed legal and enforcement specialists to make sure the fast-fashion firm’s supply chain “is treated fully in accordance with the law and principles of ethical trading”. Earlier this year, following allegations that some factories in the UK working for boohoo were paying staff as little as £3.50 an hour, the company commissioned an independent report.
Alison Levitt QC, who wrote the report, found “serious issues” in the supply chain and said managers were aware of the problems but too slow to act.
She cleared the business from allegations of deliberately allowing poor conditions and low pay for garment workers. Following publication, Boohoo’s auditors PwC quit.
Sir Brian said: “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.
“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.”
The appointment comes less than a month after Boohoo chiefs, alongside Nike, H&M and North Face owner VF, were hauled in front of MPs over allegations Uighur Muslims were used as forced labour to make garments in the Xinjiang region of China. Boohoo said it was shocked and never knowingly sourced material or yarn from the region.
Mahmud Kamani, group executive chairman of Boohoo, said: “Myself and the board are fully committed to our Agenda for Change programme that will help us on our journey to lead the fashion e-commerce market globally in a transparent manner.”