LONDON – Nitin Passi, CEO and founder of rapidly growing UK online fashion retailer, Missguided, has declined to attend a UK Government-led enquiry into the fashion industry. The CEOs of rivals Boohoo and Asos have both agreed to attend a hearing to provide evidence and will appear in Parliament on November 27 this week. However, Passi has instead sent Paul Smith, his company’s head of product quality and supply.
Writing to Passi, Mary Creagh MP Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said: “We recently invited you to attend an important evidence hearing inquiring into the Sustainability of the Fashion Industry. During our inquiry we have heard disturbing evidence about non-payment of the minimum wage in UK garment factories linked to online fast fashion retailers. Serious concerns have also been raised with us about the excessive waste, plastic pollution and carbon footprint being generated by the fast fashion business model.
“Given the seriousness of these issues we would expect them to warrant your personal attention as the ultimate decision-maker in your organisation. Chief Executives from both Boohoo and ASOS have accepted our invitation to appear in Parliament on Tuesday 27 November. We are disappointed that you have declined. The Committee notes that you found time to give an interview to a Sunday newspaper last week. Can I therefore reiterate our Committee’s invitation to you to attend our hearing on Tuesday in order for you personally to respond to our questions. I am sure your attendance will be of great interest to the House of Commons, your customers, and the wider public.”
Other attendees this week include:
Mike Barry, director of sustainable business, Marks and Spencer
Paul Lister, head of ethical trade & environmental sustainability Team, Primark
Jamie Beck, head of supplier management, Arcadia Group
Leanne Wood, chief people, strategy and corporate affairs officer at Burberry
Carol Kane, joint chief executive officer, Boohoo
Nick Beighton, chief executive officer, ASOS
Paul Smith, head of product quality & supply, Missguided
More on the enquiry this week.