Investment giant Standard Life Aberdeen has sold most of its shares in fashion firm Boohoo over allegations of sweatshop conditions.
The Edinburgh-based firm, which was one Boohoo’s biggest shareholders, described the company’s response to the claims about its supply chain as “inadequate”.
Boohoo has faced allegations of poor working practices and workers being paid less than the minimum wage at a supplier’s clothing factory in Leicester. The allegations emerged after the city suffered a spike in new Covid cases. Next and Asos have both dropped Boohoo’s goods from their online stores. SLA has sold two-thirds of its stake, or 27 million shares.
Lesley Duncan, deputy head of UK Equities at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “Over the years we have lobbied the company to improve working conditions. However, in the last few weeks our concerns have grown on the progress being made. We view their response inadequate in scope, timeliness and gravity.”
Boohoo said it was “disappointed” by SLA’s decision: “We believe our actions taken this week make it clear just how determined we are to ensure our entire supply chain adheres to our code of conduct.”
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