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Before Shopping At Shein Again, Here’s Everything You Need To Know

what is shein

In an effort to better their reputation in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG)issues, Shein hired a group of new executives who aim to change how the general public views the fashion retailer, Bloomberg reported in June 2022. The most notable hire is Adam Whinston, the brand’s new global head of ESG, who is largely in charge of positively changing Shein’s image and introducing a more sustainable model to the company. On more than a few occasions, Shein has been accused of ripping off designs from both well-known names in fashion and lesser-known, independent stores and individuals.

Shein is still working on its application to list in the US — its preferred location, the people said. It would need to file a new overseas listing application with Chinese regulators if it decided to switch to London or elsewhere, they added. Other venues including Hong Kong or Singapore may also be considered, two of the people said. As a student at the University of Delaware studying entrepreneurship and fashion management, she has taken professor Lu’s class. That data point is from UBS Evidence Lab, which has surveyed 4,000 women, asking where they shop most often for clothes.

“Shein has been very good at creating wants and must-have items,” GlobalData retail analyst Neil Saunders told CBS MoneyWatch. “They know that it’s probably not the best supply chain setup, but they also know that they only have so much money available to look good and feel good,” Winder says. The company took that pledge to Toronto’s Eaton Centre in April, with an event that encouraged customers to bring in bags of used clothing for donation to a local non-profit providing clothes to vulnerable populations.

The speed at which Shein designs, produces and ships new pieces puts immense pressure on its supply chain. However, Shein’s business model comes with “dark sides,” Winder says, which could hamper its reputation with consumers and prospects with regulators. “They’re unlocking the under-20 markets that have time on their hands and access to social media,” she explains.

  1. Chip designer Arm Holdings Plc spurned London for a New York IPO last year, even after the UK government lobbied for a domestic listing by the Cambridge, England-based company.
  2. The sheer volume of clothes produced by Shein’s rapid supply and demand cycles also fuels environmental concerns.
  3. Reprocessing systems are not capable of breaking down certain synthetic clothing fibers or removing dyes.

In December, it was reported that Shein is now exploring moving to an online marketplace platform to enable other merchants to sell directly to customers, rather than under Shein’s label, according to a memo to investors viewed by The Wall Street Journal. “The marketplace platform makes available a range of additional merchandise and shipping options, and we expect it to result in increased customer engagement and satisfaction,” the memo said. Still, the impact of these initiatives is yet to be seen, especially considering a survey by BCG which found that just 18% of retailers who had previously set emissions targets were on track to achieving them, while another 35% were stalled in their progress. She has turned toward thrifting and shopping less in general, focusing not on the garment’s price but on the garment’s cost per wear. Delaye says she’s waiting for the day when she can afford to shop as sustainably as she wants, perhaps buying clothes she can pass on to other generations. The fast-fashion model can be detrimental to the environment due to massive amounts of textile waste and the natural resources required to produce their items, according to energy and sustainability expert Jasmine Schmidt at consulting firm ICF.

Intellectual property infringement

Leconte says the nature of Shein’s business model means its clothing production cannot possibly be done entirely in-house, which means leaning on third-party factories to take on work, which can in turn outsource production to other contractors. A 2022 Bloomberg report found that Shein’s garments contained cotton linked to China’s Xinjiang region. Rights groups and governments have accused China of forced labour and internment of Uyghurs, a mainly Muslim ethnic minority, in Xinjiang. A spokesperson for Shein reached out after publishing to note that, according to internal polling from February 2022, most customers surveyed reported wearing items they’ve purchased from the company more than once. The sheer volume and speed at which Shein gets the latest fashions into consumers’ hands spurs concerns that not all of Shein’s clothing is original.

what is shein

“This helped the online retailer grow its presence and reach a wider audience more quickly.” The little-known founders of Sheinside got together in 2008, led by entrepreneur Xu Yangtian, who started out in digital marketing and selling wedding dresses online. By 2025, the company is planning on converting most of its shoppers into loyal customers, projecting that 60% of an estimated 261 million people will have shopped with them before, according to The Financial Times. But some critics say these efforts pale in comparison to the company’s output of an estimated 314,877 new styles per year, according to a Business of Fashion article, which used data from retail analytics firm Edited. In another fundraising round earlier this year, Shein’s valuation dipped to $66 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. Xu’s background in SEO and marketing has benefitted the company’s digital-first approach.

It employs 200 designers

While the fashion industry — most specifically, the fast-fashion industry — isn’t the sole cause of the world’s environmental issues, it is a major factor. If its growth continues as it’s projected to, the is octafx legit Ellen MacArther Foundation predicts that its environmental impacts will be drastic. As Vauhini Vara wrote in Wired, “This [damage] isn’t unique to Shein, but Shein’s success makes it especially notable.”

Today, Shein also offers kid’s and men’s clothing and ships to 220 countries around the world. But despite its ubiquitous presence online, the company has a reputation for being very reclusive. Meanwhile, online rivals Asos’ and Boohoo’s revenues reached $4.4 billion and $2.4 billion respectively in 2020. Building a colossal range of products and styles at speed means that Shein has come under fire on several fronts. Eventually, she also snapped up homeware, joggers and even got her mum into shopping on the website. The company ships orders to its customers directly, mostly from one 16 million square foot warehouse on the outskirts of Guangzhou.

what is shein

In July, a group of designers filed a federal lawsuit against Shein that alleges copyright infringement and racketeering. The court filing alleges that copyright infringement is central to Shein’s business model and that fxcm canada review the company passes the blame onto third-party vendors. Shein X has partnered with people like artist Donna Adi, Nigerian fashion designer Ngozika Okeke, and SHEIN x 100K challenge winner Sashagai (Sasha) Ruddock.

How does Shein do it?

Designers have told outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and the Guardian that Shein has allegedly ripped off their work. A spokesperson for Shein told Reuters at the beginning of August that it would add its policies around child labor, which are required by UK law, to its website in the following two weeks. Although the firm has paid out more than $1m (£741,000) to independent designers to date, Twitter still sees complaints from smaller businesses.

But by virtue of Shein’s location and software technology, the retailer developed a speedy edge on its competitors. Matthew Brennan, a Beijing-based writer and analyst of Chinese technology, likened its pace to “real-time” retail. That means Shein is constantly gathering and analyzing customer data and uses that knowledge to craft new designs — within as little as three days. Yet Shein’s emergence as a fast fashion juggernaut can’t solely be attributed to the price of its clothing or its ubiquitous internet presence. The retailer is also nowhere to be found in the physical world — at least not in brick-and-mortar stores, although it has previously hosted in-person pop-up events. Shein appeared to have sprung out of thin air into the mainstream, unlike fast fashion’s old guards, whose spacious, brightly lit stores were proof of their dominance.

“It can help to buy from companies that have transparent policies and sustainable practices,” Schmidt said. Additionally, buying secondhand from stores like Plato’s Closet, Rent the Runway, and Depop could be viable options for finding trendy clothes without adding to environmental waste — something Schmidt and Meltzer suggest consumers do. In May a bipartisan group of two dozen lawmakers asked the bitfinex review Securities and Exchange Commission to put the brakes on an initial public offering by Shein until it verified that it does not use forced labor from the country’s predominantly Muslim Uyghur population. One such shopper, a content creator who once promoted Shein clothing but says she has since cut back on their products, said the retailer’s low-prices make it a no-brainer for many young consumers.

Yet, Shein is so far ahead of competitors like H&M, Zara, and Asos, according to an analysis by Apptopia, that it’s difficult to compare them. She agrees with Winder that consumers and companies alike are being more cognizant of the lasting environmental impacts that come from fast fashion cycles. But she says she finds the growing awareness hard to square with the parallel rise of Shein. Allegations of copyright infringement are not unique to Shein, however — other well-known clothing brands have faced their fair share of accusations that they’ve lifted designs from artists over the past decade as well, with some resulting in legal payouts.

“I now know … that [Shein’s] staff are underpaid, they work too many long hours, they don’t get days off. This summer, among all apps downloaded in the U.S., Shein was second only to Temu, a Chinese rival also selling ultracheap clothes and home goods. “They are one of the biggest private companies and they don’t actually disclose their volume of production, where they’re sourcing materials from and their emissions.” While venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs tout Shein as the future of fashion, the company’s rise didn’t occur in a vacuum.

Its success is predicated on a confluence of factors, from geopolitical trade policies to a decades-old, disaggregated global fashion ecosystem. Leconte is doubtful here, too, that Shein has enough visibility into its own production cycles to make claims about where it can meaningfully reduce its overall carbon footprint. Shein’s low prices make this model accessible to even the youngest shoppers who have just a bit of pocket money to stretch, Leconte says.