• Isabella Medrano

Shein is Endangering the Environment

Updated: Nov 16

Earlier this year, Shein became the largest fashion retailer in the world. Most of its success is due to the alarming amount of items they push out to the public on a daily basis, all of this while its workers are paid minimum wage.


PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF @PANOSPICTURES/PUBLICEYE

According to an Instagram account, ‘Environment,’ which is a newspaper, “Shein Lists somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 items on its website daily.” followed by “Even in the context of fast fashion, this is a massive figure.” Now, this is how Shein compares to other fast fashion brands


BRAND NAME

​NUMBER OF DIFFERENT ITEMS IN A 12-MONTH PERIOD

​GAP

12,000

H&M

25,000

ZARA

​35,000

SHEIN

1.3 MILLION



Shein uses a “Test and Repeat” business model. Environment said, “For each item posted, they create a small test batch of clothing– roughly 50 to 100 products.” This was followed by, “If an item performs well, they continue to make more pieces. If it performs poorly, the design is discarded.”

Shein textile waste

What Happens at Shein’s Worst?

If Shein posts 10,000 items in one day and produces between 50 and 100 products per item listing, 1 million products could be created in just one day.


In fact, styles are discarded on Shein so quickly that only about 6% of designs stay on the site for more than 90 days. This only shows that the amount of clothing a company makes, matters.


The estimate is that 100 billion clothing items are made in a 12-month period, and 92 million tonnes end up in landfills. That is one garbage truck every second.


Shein is not pricey for its customers, is pricey for the Environment


The prices that you pay with this store are more or less between $1 and $40. Nature on the other hand pays 10% of global carbon emissions, 20% of global wastewater, and 342 million barrels of petroleum for plastic fibers; garment worker exploitation, and more. At the end of the day, nature ends up paying far more than what you pay in a single shopping spree at Shein.


The Instagram account “Environment” once again said. “Ultra-fast fashion is destroying the planet on a scale never seen before. The time to stop supporting fast fashion is NOW.” This clothing brand has left its permanent signature on nature and that's for sure. This isn't some obscure secret, more and more people are realizing the impact fast fashion has on the environment yet their consumerism doesn't stop.

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