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As governments tackle the harms of fast fashion, could Shein lose its luster?

As governments tackle the harms of fast fashion, could Shein lose its luster?


Fast fashion brand Shein expressed interest last year, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). But after encountering some opposition from US politicians, including Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, the plan has now been adopted. would have turned his attention to London.

While this would be a boost for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which has lost several organizations to other international exchanges over the past five years, it raises the question of why Shein has failed to register on the NYSE.

Shein has gained significant global market share in online fast fashion since its launch in China in 2008. It has found success by accelerating the already lucrative fast fashion business model to become a major player. ultra-fast mode retailer.

This Shein is the second most popular fashion retailer for American Generation Z is not surprising, given the vast selection of up to 10,000 new clothes uploaded daily at a significant rate lower price than fast fashion competitors like Zara and H&M.

Yet the strategies that enabled Shein's international expansion are now likely hindering its application to the NYSE. The low cost of fast fashion in general has long been linked to potential labor exploitation, and the precariousness of outsourcing fashion production to the cheapest supplier within a global supply chain was evident during the period pandemic. And as awareness of unethical and unsustainable practices across the industry increases, activists could have the power to disrupt Shein's growth.

The Swiss NGO Public Eye reported allegations exploitation in factories allegedly used by Shein, which itself recently published a answer saying he has made considerable progress in improving conditions. In the United States, Rubio introduces a law in 2021, it blocked imports made by Chinese Uyghur slaves and has since ordered an investigation into Shein and fellow Chinese discount retailer Temu to see if their products break the law.

Climate emergency

The United States goes further in regulating the fashion industry. In New York, the Fashion Sustainability and Social Responsibility Act if, if adopted, legislate that fashion and footwear brands with sales exceeding $100 million (79 million) must map 50% of their supply chain to ensure transparency. They will also need to develop plans to reduce their social and environmental impact.

Similarly, in 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate emergencyand the European Commission responded by developing the European Green Deal. This includes planned legislation forcing the fashion industry to tackle sustainability problems, which means that in 2030 fashion and textiles will need to become more durable, repairable and recyclable. Companies will also need to have strategies in place from the design process to end of life to maximize resources and avoid contributing to landfill.

French politicians are also legislating to limit the excesses of ultra-fast fashion, with a surcharge of 5 (4.29) per item from 2025, which will increase to 10 by 2030. This is a recognition of the fact that ultra-fast fashion -fast and fast not only exploits labor, but also the environment. By being considered disposable, fast fashion has been shown to encourage constant consumption.

Although Shein's listing on the LSE could improve the company's respectability and profits, it could backfire on the brand in the long run. Shein could become more visible to a wider audience and, with a better understanding of sustainability and business practices that contribute to the climate emergency, activists could begin targeting shareholders and other organizations and individuals with links with the company.

There is precedent for this activists which targeted museums and galleries due to their sponsorship of energy companies, as well as protests on campus in the United States and Europe, calling on universities to divest from Israeli companies because of the war in Gaza.

This trend of publicly criticizing brands for abusive or unethical practices has been prevalent for years among fast fashion retailers on social media. Especially, influencers who promote fashion have been criticized for encouraging unsustainable fashion consumption.

The fashion industry may seem unfairly scrutinized for its failure to address the issue of sustainability. After all, it's not the only industry that harms the environment. But the review seems valid; THE The United Nations now estimates that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world.

Additionally, as an industry, it openly flaunts its cheap prices and rapid turnover, with marketing tactics claiming last chance to buy or low inventory, as well as discounts that encourage impulse purchases frequent. Our research discovered that fast fashion marketing on social media gets in your face and encourages indiscriminate consumption of clothing that often languishes in wardrobes with the labels still attached.

Fast fashion retailers frequently make sustainability claims to alleviate consumers' eco-guilt, which is often ambiguous and cannot be easily justified. But fast and super-fast fashion can never be sustainable due to rapid turnover and items that are often discarded after just one use.

So while marketing attracts customers through social media, the messages consumers see as they scroll past increasingly compete with stories of activism and protest against the harmful effects of fast fashion.

As measures to regulate the fast fashion industry expand to more regions, their effects will almost certainly affect the profits of industry players. While a Shein listing in London could be a boost for the LSE, it could spell trouble for the retailer as it finds itself and its practices under increasing scrutiny.

Shein was contacted regarding the claims in this article but declined to comment.




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