The Shein Dilemma
The internet has absolutely blown up with Shein hauls, outfits and all-around cheap fashion. While Shein itself is not new, this craze for the brand is. It seems their marketing team knows what they’re doing. But this is a HUGE problem.
Shein has dialled fast fashion up to 1000 putting out at least 6ooo new styles EACH DAY. This has allowed Shein to easily and quickly outpace both Zara (the brand that inspired the term ‘fast fashion’) and H&M and all its other companies. This is why the war on Shein is happening right now and why most other fast fashion brands have faded into the background.
Shein is in a category all of its own.
Most of this is due to social media, particularly TikTok. And if you’ve been on the platform, chances are you know what I’m talking about. Influencers showcasing their $500 or $700 Shein hauls. Sponsored Shein posts advertising how you can win a $500 Shein gift card, and so on.
The hashtag #hauls on TikTok alone has more than 16 billion hashtag views. A journalist by the name of JD Shadel analyzed the brands receiving the most views and Shein was the winner. Shein has taken over to the point where people are purely buying their clothes to make a video/take pictures and not even to wear. (Source: goodonyou.eco)
Because let’s face it, the quality isn’t there. Their workers are forced to work 75+ hour work weeks in unsafe conditions for very little pay. And with adding over 6000 new styles each and every day, you can only imagine how little time is spent on each item.
With faster production cycles and faster trends, we’re getting a faster return to the landfills. We are now living in an age where clothing is disposable. because it was made to be. Nothing about Shein’s business model or production line is meant to last. Because there will be a new trend within the next hour, day, week and so on.
For those of us who frequent thrift stores, you may have already noticed Shein popping up everywhere. This is because of the poor quality, wear only once mentality and ever-changing trends. The planet and thrift stores simply can not keep up with Shein alone, let alone all of the other fast fashion brands.
So why is everyone so hyper-focused on Shein? Well, to simply put it: it’s the worst fast fashion brand. The absolute havoc it is wreaking on our planet and people is currently unmatched.
This isn’t a dig at low-income people who buy from Shein as a necessity. Shein couldn’t and wouldn’t be the fast-fashion powerhouse they are today if it wasn’t for over-consumption. And I doubt low-income people have $500 to drop on fast fashion.
All of this to say: unless you can only afford Shein, don’t support this brand. The cute, cheap clothes just aren’t worth it when there is so much at stake.
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Great article! Keep spreading the sustainable fashion word 🙂