Does Shein Use Child Labor?
One of the most prominent questions about whether Shein uses child labor is, “How does the Company ensure that child labor is not used?” The Company’s ‘Social Responsibility page states that it does not use child labor. But the Company’s supply chain transparency statement does not address country-specific laws. Therefore, whether Shein uses child labor is essential to the Company’s customers and to the Company itself.
Shein’s ‘Social Responsibility page guarantees child labor isn’t used.
While the Company’s social responsibility page assures consumers that child labor isn’t used in its production, it has also been criticized for stealing designs from smaller companies and reselling them for lower prices.
A recent investigation by CBC Marketplace found that Shein products contain toxic chemicals that can damage the body, kidneys, and reproductive system. Furthermore, Shein does not disclose how many workers it employs in its factories, which has prompted accusations that the Company uses child labor.
Despite the Company’s reputation for unethical practices, SHEIN’s social responsibility page makes it easy to shop online. Their vast collection of women’s fast-fashion clothes is aimed at millennial women and comes in quality ranging from Target to Old Navy. Their low environmental impact score is also a plus, with no meaningful environmental impact reduction evidence.
The company ships to over two hundred countries from globally positioned warehouses.
The Company sells 36 million pounds of goods globally each year. According to their “social responsibility page,” they have to provide a statement on their home page guaranteeing that child labor is not used in their production. The Company must also include a director’s signature to verify this. The Company declined to provide revenue figures for 2016 and does not disclose them publicly. Analysts estimate Shein’s revenue at about $5 billion and its valuation at $15 billion.
The Company’s supply chain transparency statement doesn’t address country-specific laws.
While Shein’s supply chain transparency statement is pretty general and doesn’t address country-specific laws, it does speak to its ethical standards. It says that it complies with labor and environmental laws, but it’s unclear how the Company implements those standards. Additionally, the Company doesn’t provide a detailed list of its factories, a critical factor in building trust with consumers.
Additionally, the Company doesn’t address country-specific laws, which means that the Company may be exploiting children in the production of its products. Furthermore, Shein does not report the wages it pays its workers. While its supply chain transparency statement doesn’t address country-specific laws, the Company’s policies are generally more lenient than the laws in many countries. The Company has also worked to ensure compliance with its Shein Code of Conduct.
Furthermore, the Company fails to provide a statement addressing country-specific laws. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires qualifying companies to publish a slavery statement each year. Under this law, companies that generate over PS36 million in turnover must post their statement on their website. A director must sign the statement, and the statement should be visible in a prominent location. Shein’s supply chain transparency statement fails to address country-specific laws despite these deficiencies.
Company’s business model
While its recent scandals have caused outrage among netizens, Shein’s business model has long used sweatshops and unethical labor practices. Shenzhen Globalegrow E-Commerce Co. Ltd., Its parent company, is a large Chinese e-commerce company. The Company issues approximately 500 new items every dway and uses child labor to produce those products.
This exposes thousands of workers to exploitation in the name of speed and cheapness.
The Company was first launched under the domain SheInside in 2008, selling wedding dresses and women’s fashion, and was aimed at US consumers. Founder Chris Xu, a former search engine optimization marketer, had no previous interest in women’s clothing or fashion. However, he grew tired of working with child labor and soon began focusing on brand marketing. In 2016, Shein gathered more than 800 designers in the United States. The Company then cut out suppliers that did not produce quality goods.
Shein’s suppliers may be small workshops or small factories. The Company reportedly works with 300-400 “core” factories and more than 1,000 smaller, “sub-tier” suppliers. However, many fast-fashion competitors have declined to work with small-scale manufacturers. As a result, it becomes difficult to police labor conditions because the Company contracts with many sub-contractors. The Company’s recent slip-ups should serve as a wake-up call to consumers.
Its supply chain
Fast fashion companies are notorious for using sweatshops and child labor. For example, one Shein competitor, Fashion Nova, was found using underpaid labor in Los Angeles factories as recently as 2019. Some of these employees were paid as little as $2.77 an hour.
The Company’s labor practices are still unknown, but they seem to be a source of concern for consumers. Nevertheless, she has made headlines for her efforts to make clothes cheaper and faster. But the Company’s labor practices should be questioned – and if you’re wondering if Shein uses child labor in its supply chain, read on.
To prove that Shein does not use child labor in its supply chain, a reporter from the nonprofit Sixth Tone visited the Company’s leading production site in China. He interviewed dozens of workers, factory owners, and workers. He discovered a pattern of poor working conditions and loose oversight in the process. Similarly, he learned that many Shein manufacturing suppliers cut costs by subcontracting work to small workshops located in rundown “handshake” buildings, which are located in dense residential blocks that are almost touching. Despite its alleged commitment to the ethical treatment of workers, the Company fails to disclose its policies and the percentage of the supply chain that has been audited.
Despite this rapid growth, there are still many questions regarding whether SHEIN’s labor practices are ethical. While the Company claims to pay its workers a living wage, it has not provided any evidence to support this claim. In addition, there have been numerous complaints from activists and consumers about the Company’s poor working conditions. The allegations are a cause for concern for SHEIN and the ethical business practices in its supply chain.
It is unclear whether Shein uses child labor in its products. The Company’s social responsibility page mentions child labor, but it does not provide the entire supply chain disclosures required under British law. Typically, companies must publish a statement in the financial year the goods were made and sign it by a director. The statement must also explain how the Company plans to prevent modern slavery within its supply chain.
Although Shein has been around since 2008, environmentalists are concerned about its practices. The Company has a no-animal policy and only uses fake leather and faux fur. It also prohibits animal testing on its products. While it is difficult to determine the extent of child labor in its supply chain, it has prioritized reducing its impact on the environment. However, this policy does not prevent it from being the largest online retailer to use child labor.
However, this has not stopped Shein from experiencing a wave of backlash. Some consumers were angry that Shein was selling products depicting offensive topics, such as a necklace with a swastika pendant, a phone case with a handcuffed Black man, and a decorative rug featuring a Muslim prayer mat. Shein quickly apologized for its offensive products and defended its practices.
A new report by the nonprofit Sixth Tone exposes the practices of Chinese apparel giant Shein and its competitors. The investigation focuses on a large warehouse owned by Shein that employs tens of thousands of workers.
Located just an hour away from Guangzhou’s factories, Ambo employs workers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And because many of these employees are under the age of 18, they do not receive fair wages or safety protections.
The Shein company has been in business since 2008. The original brand was ZZKKO. It initially sold wedding dresses. It later expanded into women’s clothing, purchasing items at a Guangzhou wholesale clothing market and reselling them through third-party vendors. But critics have been critical of Shein’s stance on the use of child labor. In response to this criticism, Shein has resorted to a low-profile approach.
The Company has also faced backlash from customers for selling offensive items to some cultures, such as a necklace with a Buddhist swastika pendant and a handcuffed Black person. And it also marketed a fake version of a luxury brand for less than $30. The brand has apologized and is moving towards more ethical practices. It also warns customers that the products might contain lead and other harmful chemicals, and it hired a new global head of environmental, social, and governance in 2021.