After Leicester was faced with a local lockdown, its textile industry now faces investigations into allegations of sweatshop labour. Embroiled in these allegations is fast fashion brand Boohoo. Sister brand of the Boohoo group, Nasty Gal, is currently investigating claims that one of its suppliers exploits workers in its Leicestershire factories. We’ve taken a look at Boohoo’s social media sentiment to see how the news is affecting consumer attitudes.
Boohoo social media sentiment suffers a hit
Boohoo positive social media sentiment halves
Since June 22 Boohoo saw about 100 positive posts and 50 negative posts per day about it across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Between July 4 and 6, the negativity jumps as the news breaks and conversation begins to pick up around the suppliers of one of the business’ group brands, Nasty Gal.
As the news and media outlets pick up on the story, the volume of conversation doubles and becomes largely neutral until July 9, driven by retweets of news coverage and media links. As the news rumbles into week two (from July 9 onwards) the conversation halves in its original volume, positivity follows suit, and negativity remains the same.
What’s the detail behind the Boohoo conversation?
Boohoo has always done an exceptional job at communicating, engaging and knowing their customers well enough to keep them entertained with memes, influencer endorsements and pop culture references.
But the cost of fast fashion is borne somewhere and as trend reports suggest, Gen-Z is likely to judge the brands it invests in, by its social responsibility; sustainability, and employee culture credentials,
Boohoo visibly and quickly responded to the allegations about its suppliers, launching a full investigation and issuing statements via its website. But customers and influencers continued to demand further explanations that went unanswered. Zalando, Next and ASOS all chose to pull Boohoo products from their own websites.
So @boohoo what are you doing about this? You have influencers promoting your shit constantly, making you millions and THIS is what you’re paying people behind the scenes?! I’m truly disgusted and it needs to change. Speak up about this, people need answers. https://t.co/QRicLZUpw9
— Jayde Pierce (@JaydePierce) July 7, 2020
What remains clear is that the ethics of how a company operates and who they do business with is now as front and centre as the product it sells, and brand reputation and social sentiment is influenced as a result. What will need to be seen moving forwards not only by Boohoo but by any brand wanting to retain loyalty, is not only the right talk, but the right walk as well.