HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 21: Mahmud Kamani attends the launch of the boohoo.com spring collection and the Zendaya Edit at The Highlight Room at the Dream Hollywood on March 21, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for bohooo)
FAST-FASHION brand Boohoo is believed to have evinced an interest in stepping up its investment in Pakistan.
Caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar met Boohoo Group chairman Mahmud Kamani last week and asked the British entrepreneur to augment his firm’s presence in the south Asian country, according to a Radio Pakistan report.
He invited Kamani to open Boohoo franchises Pakistan, citing the country’s facilities and pro-investment policies.
Pakistan is desperately seeking investment as its fragile economy has been devastated by the Covid pandemic, a global energy crisis and last year’s severe floods.
Inflation hit a record 38 per cent in May but eased later as the country’s central bank increased interest rate to 22 per cent in a bid to stabilise prices.
The country struck a $3 billion standby deal with the International Monetary Fund in July, which provided temporary relief for the nation’s ballooning foreign debt.
It was reported in 2020 that Boohoo sold clothes made by Pakistani factory workers who were underpaid and who faced safety risks at their workplaces.
Boohoo later suspended a supplier, saying it would not tolerate mistreatment of workers or violation of minimum wage requirements.
Workers’ rights campaign group Labour Behind the Label said in its recent report that factories used by some of the world’s top fashion brands, including Boohoo, routinely violated minimum-wage requirements and workers’ rights in Pakistan.
But a Boohoo spokesperson said the company was working closely with its suppliers to ensure that all garment workers had safe working conditions.
They told the Guardian: “We have a strong auditing programme in place to support this and where possible work with our suppliers to remediate issues where a supplier is found to have been in breach of our code of conduct.
“We will continue to work with suppliers and industry partners in the region to protect and improve labour standards.”