When Shein was first launched in 2008, it started out as a website that makes and sells low-cost wedding gowns internationally. Its product line expanded over time to include a wide range of women’s fashion. The brand has always been synonymous with being cost-effective, which was a key element for its popularity in India. Undoubtedly, then the low-cost knockoffs of runway fashion clothes allured and catered heavily to a financially strapped Indian consumer base.
Until June 2020, the brand was enjoying tremendous success in the Indian market. Following the clashes in Ladakh’s Galwan valley and amid rising border tensions, the Indian government added the Chinese shopping application to its extensive list of 59 banned mobile applications. Since then Shein’s website has been unavailable in India.
However, Shein has made an official return! The Fashion brand will identify itself as an Amazon seller this time, rather than operating as a stand-alone entity. It will re-launch during Amazon’s “Prime Day” sale. Clothing from the ‘Shein‘ Seller is now available to Amazon Prime subscribers. The fashion brand, as per CNN-News18, already has over 500 “Prime Day launch” merchandise available on the website.
While the clothes are likely to delight you because they’re inexpensive. Environmental and ethical issues surrounding the brand should concern many.
The Problems With Brands Such As Shein
Shein can be classified as a fast-fashion brand. One can describe fast fashion as affordable, fashionable, and trendy apparel that samples ideas from the runway and celebrity culture. Quickly transforming and transporting clothes into retail stores at a rapid pace to meet customer demand. This is done so that customers may buy the newest designs while they are at the peak of popularity. Later discarding the clothes after several uses.
According to an Indigo Digital report, the firm adds between 500 and 2,000 new products to its website every day pressurizing the already resource-intensive fashion industry. Furthermore problematically, Shein’s clothing, as per VOX, is largely composed of synthetic materials, which contributes to the release of plastic microfibers into the ocean. Meanwhile, the fashion brand has remained mute on issues such as ethical fashion and sustainability. It’s impossible to imagine the company taking on corporate responsibility in the absence of broad customer pressure.
Similarly, Good on You, a fashion directory that evaluates major fashion brands, scored Shein’s labor and environment practices as “very poor”. It received a total overall score of 1 out of 100 on the Fashion Transparency Index. Scoring poorly on main Index categories including traceability, governance, and other spotlighted issues.
At the moment, Shein appears to have negated all of the aforementioned criticisms and is on the verge to become the decade’s fashion giant.