SHEIN is one of the Chinese fastest growing online fast-fashion retailers brands that goes by the philosophy that “everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion” was founded in 2008. It sells clothes at alarmingly low prices and of very dubious quality. It’s easy to see why Shein was ranked the most-talked-about brand and is the most visited apparel site internationally. Those ultra-low prices seem like a dream come true; you can build an entire wardrobe for less than it costs to order takeout. SHEIN has also been accused of stealing designs from small independent labels and printing out low-quality copies for a fraction of the price. Also, is as enigmatic as a brand can be. Its marketing is based on influencers and is especially appealing to young women on a budget.
Fast fashion is famous for its use of sweatshops, which apply workers to disgraceful working conditions and long hours for pitiful pay, along with child labor. According to a recent report, fast-fashion retailer Fashion Nova—one of Shein’s competitors—was using underpaid labor in Los Angeles factories as recently as 2019. A few sewers have been paid very little as $2.77 per hour, well below the federal minimum wage. Regretfully, Shein’s labor practices remain a secret. Shein claims on its website that it supports “equal compensation for all,” with “wages and benefits above the industry benchmark,” but no depth information is provided. And, while there have been countless rumors shared on social media about Shein employing child labor, these claims have never been proven. Besides the flood of users that the company says it “never engages in a child or forced labor” as in comments threads of Shein haul videos about these false stories. Furthermore, according to its website, “We regularly evaluate and address human trafficking and slavery risks in product supply chains through in-house inspectors tasked with investigating internal or third-party reports of this nature.” Shein fails to offer supply chain visibility, which requires firms to report information about what is going on within the supply chain to both stakeholders and consumers. It would involve leaking information about its factories’ working conditions, as well as employees’ wage rates and privileges.
While Shein does not reveal details about its carbon footprint or use of hazardous chemicals, we can learn a little more about the company’s environmental impact than we can about its labor practices. Although Shein’s website promotes small batch production of new products to “ensure no raw materials are wasted,” the company acknowledges the large-scale production of common products. Shein produces millions of pieces per year, making any claims of small-scale production appear useless. The company also claims to use recycled materials anytime possible, technology that consumes less energy, and a reuse program to encourage a more circular industry. Again, these practices appear to just be excellent, but the lack of actual transparency raises the issue of what those remarks mean. Shein, for example, tries to claim that when it comes to material selection, it “does its best to source recycled fabric, such as recycled polyester.”
Is it Ethical?
While SHEIN verifies some of its supply chains, it does not disclose the percentage. It also fails to reveal policies in place to assist providers and workers in dealing with the effects of COVID-19.
A percentage of fast fashion retailers failed to prevent their employees from the virus’s effects, which range in size from wage loss to health risks. SHEIN has also been charged with stealing designs from individuals and small businesses on numerous occasions. Felicity Hayward, a plus-size model, and brand ambassador accused SHEIN of stealing her brand’s t-shirt design in 2017. Furthermore, SHEIN was then accused of stealing a garment pattern from an independent designer in August 2020. Last year, it was also chastised for selling a £2 Nazi swastika necklace before quickly removing it.
Meanwhile, the brand has issued a general response to the claims, declaring that it is dedicated to providing ‘value, secure, and inexpensive.’ SHEIN, on the other hand, has been lauded via its online store Just five days before this heinous error, it had been chastised for selling Islamic prayer rugs as stylish rugs. SHEIN, on the other hand, has been lauded for being the UK’s most size open and accepting brand and for providing cheap clothing to those who need it.
To conclude, Shein’s Marketing Strategy has added a new dimension to the world of the retailing industry. Analysts have been taken aback by how they have estimated themselves. The market’s dynamics have shifted due to its exponential growth, product variety, and avowed celebration of body positivity. Shein is undoubtedly a fairly unknown company outside of the US market; however, the company is focusing on the Middle East and Africa for long-term growth. Big brands the gratifying knowledge on the Shein gateways and the kickoff timers for the season sale discount coupons. They always felt like they were getting things for a cheaper price, and the exchanges were quick.