Boohoo factory opens new chapter for Leicester’s garment sector

Boohoo Group CEO John Lyttle said there was a “bright future” for clothing manufacturing in Leicester after the online fashion retailer officially opened its first manufacturing facility in the city.

The new factory represents a multi-million pound investment by Boohoo Group and will be used as what the retailer calls a ‘centre of excellence’ to reintroduce skills in garment manufacturing which it says have been lost in the UK. United over time. The site also includes office space and will be used to train Boohoo’s own product teams in responsible sourcing and the technical aspects of garment production.

The company is also in talks with local education providers to host students and other groups wanting to learn more about garment manufacturing and the fashion industry in the UK.

Production at the 23,000 square foot factory is already underway and has created approximately 180 new jobs. In what Boohoo calls a change from the traditional way of operating a garment factory, the factory will operate on two shifts, creating double the job opportunities and greater flexibility for the team.

The site was officially opened in a ceremony on Friday April 8, attended by the Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, as well as other local dignitaries and NGO representatives, including Kevin McKeever, Chairman of the Garment & Textile Workers’ Trust and Tim Nelson, CEO of Hope for Justice.

Speaking after the event, Lyttle said: “This is a historic moment for us and a very visible demonstration of our commitment to Leicester and UK clothing manufacturing. By operating the site as a center of excellence, we want to revive skills lost over time and help our suppliers diversify their product offerings, which will enable them to win business from other retailers who we hopefully will be tempted to start stocking up. from the UK again.

He said: “The past few years have been difficult but I am confident the future is bright and today marks the start of a new chapter for the garment industry here in Leicester.”

Boohoo Group recently opened an in-house textile and apparel lab to give the company and its suppliers greater visibility into product performance, with a variety of retail tests available to ensure products meet legal standards. and performance required.

Boohoo has partnered with German inspection services group TÜV Rheinland on the facility at its Manchester headquarters and will enable fast, efficient and cost-effective in-house garment testing.

The online retailer also launched a new Supplier Hub system aimed at increasing resilience and control which was announced as part of the final report as part of the Boohoo agenda for Change (A4C) led by Sir Brian Leveson.

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Michael O. Stutler