Founded in China in 2008 by Chris Xu, Shein has quickly become the world's largest fashion retailer, surpassing H&M and Zara. The company has no physical stores and exists almost entirely on social media. While production is still primarily in China, Shein moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2022 in an attempt to distance itself from China. Ships to 220 countries. Acquired 33% of Forever 21 parent company SPARC in 2023.
|Zoetop Business Co Ltd||SGP||website|
|Zoetop Business Co Ltd|
In 2021 Public Eye investigated working conditions at Shein supplier factories in Guangzhou, China. Shein sources from a network of hundreds of small suppliers and sub-contractors, where workers usually have no employment contract, and no social security contributions. Workers commonly work 75 hours per week with no overtime premium and only one day off per month. Safety deficiencies abound. These are all violations of Chinese law.
Source: Public Eye (2021)
Baptist World Aid Australia's '2022 Ethical Fashion Report' assessed 120 companies on their efforts to mitigate against the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains, as well as protect the environment from the harmful impacts of the fashion industry. Assessment criteria fall into five main categories: policy & governance, tracing & risk, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental sustainability. This company received a score of 4/100.
Source: Baptist World Aid Australia (2022)
The 2023 Fashion Transparency Index reviewed 250 of the world's largest fashion brands and retailers and ranked them according to how much they disclose about their human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Brands owned by this company scored 7%, signifying it has little to no information about their supply chain practices or policies available to the public. The average score was 26% and the highest score was 83%.
Source: Fashion Revolution (2023)
In 2021 Public Eye scrutinised Shein's complex corporate structure. They found a great deal of offshore entities to disguise ownership and avoid taxes, with several Shein companies based in tax havens. A multitude of brands make the group even less tangible, with many brands sold by or through Amazon.
Source: Public Eye (2021)
Shein has not made public disclosures about working conditions along its supply chain that are required by law in the United Kingdom and Australia, and the company until recently falsely stated on its website that conditions in the factories it uses were certified by international labor standards bodies, Reuters found in 2021.
Source: Reuters (2021)
This company has been criticised for offensive advertising. In 2022 the Advertising Standards Bureau upheld complaints about two ads by this company on the grounds that they breached advertising codes. The ads were subsequently discontinued or modified.
Source: Advertising Standards Bureau (2022)
Republican attorneys general from 16 U.S. states and two dozen U.S. representatives have expressed concerns over Shein's labor practices and sustainability. They are calling on the SEC to scrutinise Shein's supply chain, and to delay Shein's potential initial public offering until conclusive evidence of non-use of forced labor is provided.
Source: Freedom United (2023)
This company has social responsibility claims on its website in the areas of community support, workers rights and sustainable practices.
Source: company website (2022)
Criticism of Shein includes intellectual property theft, 2018 data breach, criticism for offensive images, app prohibition in India, health and safety concerns, human rights violations, tax evasion, and amplification of fast fashion.
Source: Wikipedia (2022)
|Revenue||15 billion USD (2021)|
|Subsidiaries||SPARC Group LLC (33% owned)
- Forever 21 Inc
- Eddie Bauer LLC
Products / BrandsShein
SPARC (33% owned)
Forever 21 Youth Fashion
Eddie Bauer Outdoor Wear