LONDON: British online fashion retailer Boohoo defended its supplier practices on Tuesday after a Sky News report said it faced a possible U.S. import ban due to allegations regarding employment practices at its suppliers' factories.
Sky News said U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had seen sufficient evidence to launch an investigation after petitions from lawyer Duncan Jepson, who runs Liberty Shared, a campaign group against modern-day slavery.
It quotes Jepson as saying Boohoo is not doing enough to stop forced labour in supplier factories in Leicester, central England.
"We are confident in the actions that we are taking to ensure that all of the group’s products meet and exceed the CBP criteria on preventing the product of forced labour entering the U.S.," Boohoo said, adding that it had not been notified of any investigation by the CBP.
Last September Boohoo accepted all the recommendations of an independent review which found major failings in its supply chain in England after newspaper allegations about working conditions and low pay, and set out steps to tackle the problems.
The group, which sells own-brand clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products targeting 16- to 40-year-olds, said it had been working closely with UK enforcement bodies over the past eight months.
"It is important to note that auditors and investigators who are forensically examining suppliers in Leicester have found no evidence of modern day slavery," it said in a statement.
Boohoo shares were down 5.7per cent at 0907 GMT.
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jason Neely)