Boohoo founder and chair Mahmud Kamani has insisted that the retailer is committed to sourcing in Leicester but will need the help of suppliers to improve working conditions in the city. 

The fashion boss said he was “shocked and appalled” by the modern slavery issues in its Leicester supply chain that came to light in July, despite having worked with the garment industry in the city for the last 25 years.

Kamani was giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, alongside Boohoo’s responsible sourcing director Andrew Reaney and commercial director Kelly Burn. 

Reaney, who joined the etailer earlier this year, confirmed that Boohoo has terminated 64 contracts with suppliers in the last six months who did not comply with its code of conduct. However he refused to reveal how many were ended as a result of paying employees illegally low wages.

Kamani told the committee that his fashion group was being unfairly treated despite its committment to UK sourcing.

He said: ”It would be easy to move this offshore […] Lots of people in the fashion industry have moved offshore, and sometimes it feels we are being punished for it.”

Kamani also repeatedly stated that such factories were third party businesses who did not hold exclusive contracts with Boohoo or any of its brands.

He insisted that Boohoo is working towards a better future for Leicester, but will need the help of others as Boohoo is just one fashion brand sourcing there. Boohoo is, however, the Leicester garment trade’s largest customer.