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Issue 17 Out Now

SheIn: Worth it or not

Shein, a clothing brand, is a name you may have encountered while shopping online. There are varied opinions about the legitimacy of Shein and whether buying clothes from their website is worth it. Business of Apps states, “It went from a $5 billion valuation in 2019 to $100 billion in early 2022, although that has since declined to $64 billion in 2023.”

Shein was founded in China in 2008 and sells a range of clothing, including dresses, beachwear, shoes, accessories, and beauty items at very affordable prices. They extensively use influencers and social media stars to promote their brand and clothing. You may not know that they don’t manufacture the clothing at their headquarters but outsource it from other places in China, making them like a dropshipping company. What began as a single store selling clothes to US residents has expanded overseas, including countries like Spain and France, and is becoming ubiquitous.

Shein is not on the ethical or sustainable side of fashion, It states on Vox that “There are tens of thousands of styles on the retailer’s site, and each day, about 1,000 more are added.” They produce clothing faster than usual fast-fashion retailers like Misguided and Fashion Nova, which isn’t good. Shein has received a lot of backlash on various issues, including selling offensive items and child labor. Vox reports, “Following the completely legal copycat model of most fast-fashion retailers, Shein employs workers to recreate trending designs for its own products.” Nothing can be done about Shein stealing designs or selling offensive items, but it negatively impacts its brand image and ethical stance.

Additionally, they emit significant greenhouse gases by producing thousands of clothes daily. This is also very bad for the environment because the chemicals damage the air. Most of their clothes are made of cheap synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and other materials that reduce the quality of the clothing. Many fast-fashion clothing brands also use these fabrics because they are the most common and inexpensive materials. Examining everything on their website is essential to make an informed decision when looking for clothing brands.

According to Business Insider, “Workers at factories in China that supply clothes to Shein frequently work up to 18 hours a day with no weekends and just one day off per month.” Unfortunately, people work such long hours for little time off and minimum or even minimum wage. Although Shein’s website states that they have a strong policy against modern slavery and forced slavery, working people up to 18 hours a day with little time off is an example of the opposite.

There are mixed reviews about the sizing and quality of Shein’s clothing on their website and in general. With their cheaply made clothing and backlash over the past years, even people who don’t prioritize ethical clothing care about how they view the company. So it’s essential to understand what you are buying from anyone fully.


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