Molly-Mae Hague opens up about Pretty Little Thing role but stays silent on worker welfare

‘I’m not an influencer anymore’, she said

Joanna Whitehead
Friday 03 September 2021 11:35 BST
Molly-Mae Hague in 2019
Molly-Mae Hague in 2019 (Getty Images for Misspap)

Molly Mae Hague has opened up about her new role as creative director of fast fashion firm Pretty Little Thing, but has remained silent on the issue of employee welfare in the supply chains of the multimillion-pound company.

The former Love Island contestant announced her new appointment last month, attracting criticism for her involvement in the fast fashion brand that was found to be paying garment workers in Leicester just £3.50 per hour following a 2020 investigation by The Sunday Times.

In an Instagram story posted on Thursday, the influencer answered a series of questions including one enquiring what her new role actually involves.

“So basically I have creative input/lead within multiple areas of the brand eg marketing, buying, influencers,” she began.

“It’s a 24/7 role… sharing ideas, coming up with incredible new concepts, having input on shoots, events, you name it.”

Molly-Mae Hague on Instagram
Molly-Mae Hague on Instagram (Instagram/mollymae)

While she didn’t directly reference the numerous criticisms levelled at her regarding staff pay at suppliers of the firm, she added that she had been “enlightened” to things she aimed to address.

“Seeing everyone’s reactions to the announcement of my role actually enlightened (sic) to a lot of things I wanted to get started with straight away within PLT,” she said.

“I’ve read EVERYTHING. We have SO many amazing things coming.”

And when pressed on The Sunday Times findings in an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat on Friday, the 22-year-old chose not to comment.

Pretty Little Thing’s CEO John Lyttle said the company has a “clear strategy” to make 20 per cent of its autumn range sustainable but did not expand on what this constituted.

Hague added: “I’m excited to be a creative director - I’m not an influencer any more and people can see that, it’s become a lot more than that.”

Boohoo, the parent firm for Pretty Little Thing, said it was “grateful” for The Sunday Times investigation exposing sweatshop conditions at some of their suppliers factories following publication of the report.

In a statement, it said: “ “We are grateful to The Sunday Times for highlighting conditions, which, if they are as described by the undercover reporter, are totally unacceptable and fall woefully short of any standards acceptable in any workplace.

“Boohoo are keen and willing to work with local officials to raise standards because, we are absolutely committed to eradicating any instance of non-compliance and to ensuring that the actions of a few do not continue to undermine the excellent work of many of our suppliers in the area, who work tirelessly to provide good jobs and good working conditions.”

An independent review of the claims found that although Boohoo did not intentionally profit from the poor working practices, the firm’s monitoring of some suppliers was “inadequate”.

Allison Levitt QC said the fast fashion chain knew about “serious issues” with the welfare of factory workers in Leicester in December 2019, but were slow to address this.

She also identified “weak corporate governance” in its monitoring of supply chains, leading to the establishment of the company’s Agenda for Change programme, which is aimed at raising standards in its supply chains and improving worker welfare.

The Independent has approached Pretty Little Thing for comment.

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