The CEO of online fashion retailer Asos has warned it is considering dropping a Leicester supplier after it was found to be in breach of its ethical trading standards.
Chief executive Nick Beighton said the company had visited the Leicester-based factory during the coronavirus lockdown and that urgent action was needed to improve conditions.
The supplier has been tagged as “red critical” under the retailer’s ethical audit process, identifying potential risks to workers or gaps in management systems, reported The Guardian.
Top executives will be visiting the factory again on Friday before “making a decision accordingly” about whether to keep working with it.
According to Beighton, Asos has an established process for dealing with troubled suppliers. This includes developing a plan to improve standards and carrying out frequent progress checks. Factories that fail to improve are dropped.
The company is keen on demonstrating its commitment to high ethical standards amid concerns over working conditions in Leicester textile factories. A report from workers’ rights group Labour Behind the Label released earlier this month linked various factories supplying Boohoo to the city’s coronavirus outbreak.
Asos said it has thorough measures in place to prevent malpractice in its supply chain, and its ethical team continued to carry out visits during the lockdown.
“We believe in transparency. It demonstrates control of the supply chain,” Nick Beighton said.
Asos expects annual profits to hit the top end of market expectations this 2020 as a shift towards casual and activewear has fuelled online sales.