Fast fashion retailer Boohoo Group has opened its new manufacturing facility in Leicester, which it said will be used as a “centre of excellence” to reintroduce local garment production back into the UK.
The 23,000 square foot factory also includes office spaces and will house trainings on responsible sourcing and technical garment creation for the group’s product teams.
In a release, the Boohoo Group, which owns the likes of Karen Millen, Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal, said the factory has created around 180 new jobs for local people, operating on two shift system that allows for double the job opportunities. It also outlined that workers have access to a number of benefits, including private medical health care and free allocation of company shares.
With operations already underway, the company said that it was currently in talks with local education providers about hosting students who may be interested in learning more about the UK fashion industry.
The opening follows a few years of difficulties for the Boohoo Group, which has repeatedly been subject to reports of unsafe working conditions and breaches of minimum wages.
In a speech at the opening event, Boohoo Group CEO, John Lyttle, said: “This is a landmark moment for us and is a very visible demonstration of our commitment to Leicester and UK garment manufacturing. By operating the site as a centre of excellence, we want to bring back skills that have been lost over time and help our suppliers to diversify their product offerings, meaning they can win business from other retailers who are hoping will be tempted to start sourcing from the UK again.”