Fashion Updates | Retail

Chinese clothing brand Shein places emphasis on sustainability efforts.

Published: April 26, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Ankita Dutta

Shein, a fast-fashion retailer that has been gaining popularity amongst the younger generation is known for its cheap and trendy clothes, but it has also received criticism for its promotion of disposable fashion. Despite this, Shein has been successful in capturing market share from other affordable fashion retailers with its low-priced clothing.

However, Shein’s founder and CEO, Chris Tang, has recognized that consumers’ expectations around sustainability are growing, and that low prices are no longer the only factor driving their purchasing decisions. Therefore, the company has taken steps towards enhancing its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.

Courtesy- SHEIN Group Website

One of these steps was the launch of Shein’s EvoluShein range, offering customers the option of buying apparel made from more sustainable materials. The company has also created Shein Exchange, a platform that allows shoppers to resell their used clothing. These measures are part of its broader sustainability strategy, which the company states will help it to reduce waste and carbon emissions while adopting circular fashion principles.

Despite the positive developments towards sustainability, Shein’s business model has received criticism from some for being unethical. Concerns range from worker exploitation to carbon-intensive shipping practices. The company has since addressed the accusations and has committed to improving its ESG practices further.

Tang acknowledges that more research and efforts are required to improve its ESG practices further. However, he asserts that Shein has experienced robust growth, with unsold inventory typically being less than 2%. Currently, Shein does not have any permanent physical store presence. However, the company has opened pop-up stores in various cities worldwide, including Houston, San Diego, Antwerp, Paris, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bristol, and Cardiff.

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