Walk the talk: the Boohoo case study

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Abstract

This case study of a UK-based global fast fashion brand Boohoo encourages critical exploration of a complex, ethical and reputational crisis. Taking a macromarketing perspective, the reader is encouraged to consider all of the factors, actors and relationships in the industry, society and the supply chain to appreciate the resulting ethical considerations that arise. Boohoo has been described as a successful online company that provides a wide range of products, including clothing, footwear, beauty products and accessories. However, the company came under fire in July 2020 after an exposé published in the Sunday Times, the Sunday paper of The Times, named Britain's most trusted national newspaper. The exposé published a report from an undercover investigation that revealed some unacceptable practices in relation to working conditions. The poor working conditions were worsened by the COVID-19 outbreak. As the media criticised Boohoo, the company launched an independent review which eventually confirmed the allegations and stated that the investigation's findings were “substantially true”. Written from the perspective of a PR consultancy that wants to help Boohoo restore its reputation, the case uses secondary information to thoroughly understand Boohoo's situation. The PR consultants therefore investigate the Sunday Times’ allegations, Boohoo's practices and responses to those allegations, and the company's practices from an ethical point of view. The PR consultancy also investigates the fashion industry, with a focus on fast fashion, which creates an environment where suppliers and retailers in the system try to produce products as cheaply and profitably as possible. To fully understand those affected by this exposé, those influential to the industry and those stakeholders who govern or put pressure on the industry, they consider: the people and local government of Leicester (pronounced Lester), the supplier factories, national government websites and views of pressure groups and charities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-282
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Volume43
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • fast fashion
  • online retailers
  • Boohoo
  • COVID-19
  • social responsibility
  • ethical consumption
  • macromarketing
  • system elements
  • stakeholder analysis
  • business ethics

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