Quiz investigates Leicester factory conditions after negative news report
Quiz Clothing is the latest fast fashion company to get swept up in the Leicester garment factory scandal. The company responded to a newspaper exposé on Monday and said that it's "extremely concerned" by the information revealed in the report.
The struggling womenswear firm said it’s grateful to the press for highlighting “an alleged instance of non-compliance with National Living Wage requirements in a factory making Quiz products in Leicester”.
On Saturday, The Times had said workers in Leicester have been offered as little as £3 an hour to make clothes for the label. An undercover reporter had been told by factory bosses pre-lockdown that she would have to do two days of unpaid work, then would move to a rate between £3 and £4 an hour.
On Monday, Quiz said it’s “currently investigating the reported allegations, which if found to be accurate are totally unacceptable. From our initial review, we believe that one of Quiz's suppliers based in Leicester has used a sub-contractor in direct contravention of a previous instruction from Quiz. It is this sub-contractor that is [the] subject of the National Living Wage complaint”.
Quiz said it “has immediately suspended activity with the supplier in question pending further investigation”.
It also said the board is aware that it "has clear-cut social responsibilities and legal obligations and understands the critical importance of ensuring the group's products are sourced from manufacturers whose business operations conform to appropriate standards”.
In addition to the immediate action it has taken, the company has also committed to a full review of its current auditing processes to make sure “they are robust enough to ensure on-going compliance with our Ethical Code of Practice throughout the Group's supply chain”.
The revelations around Quiz’s supply chain come after industry peer Boohoo was also caught up in a scandal linked to Leicester garment factories. Undeclared sub-contractors were the root of the problem that affected Boohoo’s supply chain too.
However, unlike Boohoo, Quiz hasn't been performing strongly in recent periods. The former's share price has plummeted following its own revelations, but after a 13% drop on Monday morning the company’s market valuation remains £3 billion+. Quiz, by contrast, saw its share price falling 6%+ on Monday’s opening, which dropped its own market capitalisation down to less than £8 million. Its shares had been worth over £2 each around two years ago but are currently trading at a little over 6p each.
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