Updated: Sep 19
With over 100 million clients worldwide, SHEIN has developed into one of the fastest-growing online fashion retailers in the world in recent years. Young consumers love the brand because of its low prices, hip designs, and short turnaround periods, but the company's speedy growth has generated some ethical questions.
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SHEIN began as a small e-commerce platform when it was established in China in 2008. Since then, it has expanded quickly to become a top fast-fashion brand with a valuation of over $15 billion. The brand not only provides inexpensive apparel, accessories, and beauty products, but it has also introduced a SHEIN app, a reward programme, and a marketplace for independent vendors.
The environmental impact of SHEIN is one of the primary issues. SHEIN manufactures a tonne of apparel as a fast-fashion company, much of it is produced from synthetic materials that do not biodegrade. Also, the business's manufacturing and shipping methods could pollute the air and water. While SHEIN has taken some steps to lessen its influence on the environment, such as switching to more environmentally friendly packaging materials and introducing a "green" line, detractors contend that more must be done.
The working conditions in the factories that make SHEIN's apparel are also a cause for concern. In developing nations, where labour rules are frequently laxer and workers may receive extremely cheap wages, many of the factories are situated.
There have been some complaints of employees being required to work unsafe jobs for lengthy periods of time. SHEIN has made it clear that it expects its suppliers to follow ethical labour standards, and it has even introduced a supplier code of conduct. Nonetheless, it can be challenging to make sure that these standards are being upheld throughout the whole supply chain.
Also, SHEIN has come under fire for its marketing
strategies, which some claim encourage cultural appropriation and unattainable beauty standards. The company has been accused of employing images that objectify women and of stealing designs from smaller, independent designers. The business has also come under fire for selling merchandise with offensive and insensitive slogans.
Not withstanding these reservations, SHEIN is expanding its footprint. Several detractors contend that more work has to be done to guarantee the brand is acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, despite the company's efforts to address these ethical problems. It is crucial for consumers to think about the effects of their purchases and to support companies that promote ethical and sustainable business practises.