In the time since an undercover Sunday Times investigation launched Boohoo’s supply chain into the limelight, much has happened. Last September, specialist lawyer Alison Levitt published her scathing 234-page independent review of Boohoo (commissioned by Boohoo) reaffirming the company’s poor working conditions in Leicester.
But Boohoo vowed to change — the company said it would invest 10 million pounds to eradicate supply chain malpractice — appointing Sir Brian Leveson to its Boohoo Group’s Agenda for Change program to lead the charge.
Per Leveson’s fourth report in a series on the company’s progress, Boohoo shared two major updates. For one, the fast-fashion retailer pledged to sign the predecessor agreement (abbreviated as the “International Accord”) to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which arose from the devastation of the Rana Plaza collapse and extended negotiations. In an added bid for transparency, Boohoo also published details on an 1,100-strong international supplier list that spans 29 countries.
The company had already published a portion of its U.K. supplier list in May after it vowed to trim its U.K. supplier list last year. Boohoo is working with 78 British companies, the majority of which are in Leicester (compared with the 500 manufacturers it had been partnered with until last year).
“To such extent as Boohoo can seek to address and resolve these issues, aimed at assisting the workforce of their suppliers, they are making very real effort to do as much as possible,” read a comment from Leveson, in the report. “In some cases, it is clear that this work is beyond what could be considered as [reasonable] to have been expected of them: a number of proposals and actions go beyond that which were recommended in the review.
He called for regulatory changes, citing issues that transcend a single retailer.
Beauty Gives Back: Clarins and Feed — a cause-based commerce brand famous for its burlap logo totes — released a retrospective documentary for a cause.
Feed was founded in 2011 by Lauren Bush Lauren and works in unison with organizations like the United Nations World Food Programme and No Kid Hungry, as well as brand partners such as Clarins, toward the goal to fund more than 36 million school meals by the end of 2021.
The joint documentary from Clarins and Feed is produced by young filmmaker and Feed ambassador Paris Brosnan (son of actor and producer Pierce Brosnan) and celebrates the organizations’ 10 year-strong partnership with the goal to drive awareness for childhood hunger.
The film can be viewed on ClarinsUS YouTube channel and Clarinsusa.com and is part of a series of activations. For one week, from Sept. 24 onward, Clarins will match funds up to $10,000 from social media users, providing 10 meals for every social post featuring the appropriate hashtags including #ClarinsxFeed.
The latest social media call-to-action builds upon Clarins’ existing Gift With Purpose Feed promotions that occur each spring and fall where customers get a tangible look at how their purchase powers meals (one tote or pouch powers seven meals). “The number we put on every Feed bag or accessory connects customers with the cause in a tangible and shareable way,” Bush Lauren said.
The profiles are a product of Higg, an independent technology firm that spun out from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. In a six-week pilot on select product pages (or 247 products), the profiles detail impact reduction across areas such as water use and carbon footprint, as well as materials performance. By 2023, the program will envelop social data, so consumers can have a more holistic view of sustainability at the point of purchase.
While H&M and outdoor apparel brand Norrona were the first to debut the Higg single-score “sustainability profiles” on brand e-commerce sites, more brands are in the mix now. Amazon, Boozt, C&A, PVH-owned Calvin Klein (which also owns Tommy Hilfiger), Columbia Sportswear, Helly Hansen, JustWears, Lenzing AG, Puma and Salomon are also signed on to the initial program with pilots pending.
Esther Verburg, executive vice president of sustainability, business and innovation for Tommy Hilfiger, said the partnership was an aim to “support our consumers on their journey to shop more sustainably.” The move fits into the brand’s “Make It Possible” social and environmental program that was announced last year.
Just last week, Higg announced the launch of its traceability program with technology partners Avery Dennison, FibreTrace and TrusTrace. The program allows businesses to integrate a new level of traceability for products and fibers, pulling in chain of custody data and automating steps like performance claims. “We’re thrilled to partner with these organizations, all of whom are committed to advancing transparency and sustainability, and each of whom brings unique capabilities needed by the industry,” Kibbey said in a press statement.