the Chinese ultra-fast-fashion giant with much-criticized methods

While shopping on Shein, Myriam doesn’t feel like she’s buying just anything. The 27-year-old renews her wardrobe several times a year, each time for a hundred euros on Shein. “That’s at least five to ten pieces of clothing with, for example, two jeans, t-shirts and sweatersshe explains. I also buy a lot of outfits for my job.” With Shein, we no longer speak of “fast fashion”, this low-cost fashion which regularly renews its collections, but of “ultra fast fashion”. The clothing sales platform promises more than 500 new products every day at stunning prices.

But behind the site acclaimed by teenagers, there is a Chinese giant much criticized in particular for the quality of these products. “Clearly I don’t buy from Shein for the quality because they are clothes that wear out pretty quickly.continues the young woman. As a fat person, I just do it because I have no choice. Larger sizes are usually very expensive. It makes everyday dressing affordable.”

The average price of a Shein garment is 7.40 euros, half that of its competitors. Hundreds of new products every day are offered on social networks. The younger ones are addicted. “Today in the market, Shein is the place where women buy the most dresses in a yearexplains Hélène Janicot, director of the fashion department at Kantar. 2.2 million H&M brand dresses were purchased in 2021 compared to 3.8 million dresses on Shein.”

The Chinese site is already one of the five biggest fashion sellers in France.
A dazzling progression, but thanks to methods in China denounced by defenders of textile workers like Nayla Ajaltouni, of the collective Ethics on the label: “We really have the impression of a return to the Middle Ages of textile globalization. We finally have workers at our suppliers and subcontractors who are paid by the piece. We notice that there are 11 to 13 hours of work per day, or about 75 hours per week, almost double the working week of a normal employee. This is really a considerable setback.”

“These workers only have one day off a month, or even none at all, so they work seven days a week. That’s called exploitation.”

Nayla Ajaltouni, Ethics on Labels collective

at franceinfo

Multinationals are not responsible for their supply chain. A European directive supported by the parliamentarian Raphaël Glucksmann could perhaps change the situation in 2022.

Shein: the Chinese giant of ultra fast-fashion with much criticized methods. The report by Sophie Auvigne

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