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Fashion Giant Shein is BUSTED!


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Who is this online trend Shein?

Shein, (pronounced She-in) is an online clothing merchant taking TikTok, and Instagram by storm. The fashion company founded in 2008 has become a global online retailer. Generation Z’s social media feeds have made them the global giant they are by doing all their advertising indirectly. In fact, according to, Shein was rated number two for e-commerce websites most favored by teens,” second only to Amazon. Shein’s mission is to provide a massive variety of trending clothes for all ages and sizes at dubious prices. 

Shein Fast-Fashion

Companies that offer lower prices for items of clothing have faced scrutiny over the years especially with their suppliers. Most companies or big brands give lip service to checking their suppliers, but in honesty there is not a lot of transparency in the business across the board. Even though larger brands strive to comply with labor laws, smaller companies don’t to keep up.  

Slavish Hours at Shein

Recently, the Swiss advocacy group Public Eye did some investigating.  They reported, the Chinese Fashion Giants are pushing their workers to 75-hour weeks. After visiting seventeen factories, Public Eye interviewed multiple workers who reported they all worked three shifts per day often with only one day off a month. Because migrant workers are paid per item of clothing, they must work ridiculous hours to make a living. Why does this even matter? Shein is not a small company. They have taken TikTok by storm. As Shein rises in demand, more workers are sucked into the slavish hours to provide fast fashion. 

Even though long hours are not uncommon for Chinese workers, the local labor laws established clearly set the working day at eight hours with a 40-hour workweek. Shein responded to Public Eye’s allegations, “We have a strict supplier Code of conduct which includes stringent health and safety polices and is in compliance with local laws. If non-compliance is identified, we will take immediate actions.” 

Shein Change the Model & Change Lives

The Swiss Advocacy group said, “The long hours observed [in Shein’s suppler locations are], ‘directly linked’ to the piece-rate system, which is widespread in China.” The Non-governmental Organization (NGO), which focuses on all human rights issues as well as environmental advocacy, also visited the massive (16 million square-foot) warehouse for Shein near Guangzhou and verified the hellish hours and little to no time off. If saving fellow humans from slave like labor isn’t enough, also reported, Shein’s fast fashion business model is responsible for 10% of carbon emissions worldwide. What’s worse, “85% of all textiles go to the dump each year.” 

What Are You Going to Do?

It’s easy to overlook actions we take when we don’t see the consequences, but now you know. Fast Fashion is enslaving people. It may not be as horrific as the Kosovo War, but we first world consumers are indirectly responsible for the demand. I know it’s not easy. I love Old Navy, but companies like Shein and Old Navy, Forever 21, and Boohoo are sourcing their goods from these people, people desperate for money to earn a living. Even though the laws are there, no one is enforcing it. So, it comes down to us, the consumer. 

2022 Fashion Challenge

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, told BBC, “When the price is too good you have to ask who is really paying [the price].” I would further add, now you know who is paying the price, are you okay with that? The fashion world needs a revolution. Perhaps the new fashion trend ought to be recycling old clothes instead of old styles? Designers are incredibly gifted! Next year for the 2022 Spring Fashion Statement designers, create a line using strictly recycled clothing, join the movement of being green and clean!  Click here to learn more about the impact Textiles have on our planet.

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