Would you rather spend 35 dollars on a T-shirt or 5 dollars? Probably the latter.
While financially appealing, fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Consequently, Shein, the popular fashion brand, is completely unsustainable. Along with this, Shein constantly copies the designs of smaller businesses and profits from them. Shein represents everything wrong with the fashion industry and is a direct result of poor and unethical practices. In addition, there are claims that their products contain lead.
A popular trend on Tiktok shows people ordering Shein clothing in copious amounts and doing a “Shein Haul”. This kind of behavior only perpetuates the situation and furthers Shein’s profit. Additionally, many Tiktok users claimed their Shein clothing and packaging come with cries for help from clothing manufacturers. Some users have posted their clothing with the words “help” on them. These claims are yet to be verified.
Why Do So Many People Support An Unethical Company?
The easy answer is: Shein is dirt cheap. Their prices ultimately keep customers coming back. Despite multiple claims against the company’s unethical practices, it’s very easy for Shein to continue to make a profit. Most of the clothing purchased from Shein ends up in landfills creating a perpetual cycle of waste. According to Wired, Shein updates its site every day, adding about 6,000 new styles.
On multiple occasions, Shein practiced cultural appropriation through some clothing designs. Influencer Nabela Noor called out Shein for cultural appropriation in a tweet that read: “My culture and religion is not a trend or something to rebrand and sell.” This is just one instance of cultural appropriation from Shein. The brand is also accused of selling a swastika necklace. The brand apologized for their “mistake” and quickly took the item down. Along with this, Shein sold Islamic prayer mats and branded them as “Trim Floral Carpets.” Outraged by Shein’s utter ignorance, many people quickly pointed out their flaws. In response to the complaints, Shein issued an apology and took the items down.
A conversation regarding Shein’s ethics surfaced on Twitter. People shared their personal opinions about the brand. Experts have warned that high amounts of lead were found in Shein clothing.
Cord Harrington shared her opinion on the matter: “Shein has lead in their clothes.”
“Other brands have lead in their clothes too! Why are you always picking on Shein!”
Like…if you know of other brands using lead or uranium or mercury or whatever, add them to the damn thread!
Aside from the unethical production of clothes and possible metal contamination, Shein as a brand manipulates and controls young individuals. The Tiktok trends like #sheinhaul coupled with influencers vouching for the brand easily manipulate young children into buying it. As someone who has bought Shein before, the clothes are cheap and not worth the small price tag. To combat climate change and alter the way we view fashion, we must purchase from small businesses and support ethical brands. It’s time to stop Shein and other unsustainable, unethical brands.