An NGO takes a hard look at the "astronomical" volumes of clothing offered by SheIn #764


Paris – Chinese fast-fashion giant Shein offers “470,000 models available in real time” on its website, “astronomical” volumes that are out of all proportion to traditional retailers, with “disastrous” environmental and social impacts, according to an analysis by the NGO Friends of the Earth in a report published on Thursday.

The association analysed the “new clothing items sold” by Shein on a daily basis during the month of May and deduced that more than 7,200 new models were added on average every day, up to 10,800, with an average lifespan of 65 days on the site. Over the same period, H&M offered 25,000 new models, notes the NGO.

The figure of 470,000 models available per day for Shein is even 900 times higher than that of a traditional French retailer. In May, the brand claimed to be a “demand-driven” manufacturer, “able to measure (it) very finely”, which makes it possible to “drastically” reduce unsold stock and therefore the production of waste, according to Peter Pernot-Day, head of strategy and public affairs, in an interview with AFP.

One million items of clothing per day

This theory holds if “the number of models added each day (is) not so excessive”, counters Friends of the Earth, which has put Shein’s production at one million garments a day, equivalent to 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“In 2050, the textile sector would even emit 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions if current consumption trends continue”, estimated Ademe in 2022.

“Friends of the Earth advocates tackling the very system of overproduction by limiting the volumes of products put on sale, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Founded in 2012 in China and based in Singapore, Shein has rapidly conquered the global fast-fashion market, based on the rapid renewal of collections at very low prices, and sells only online, targeting a young clientele that uses social networks.

Accused of forced labour and encouraging over-consumption, criticised for the environmental impact of its products and lacking transparency about its production, the brand has drawn the wrath of environmental and human rights activists (AFP).

Read more – Fashion United / AFP