Sheen denies low prices due to forced labor


Fast-fashion brand sales to grow 60% to $16 billion worldwide in 2021, just behind high-street label H&M

Fast fashion brand Shein has said its low prices are due to demand-driven production and not forced or cheap labor.

In an interview with AFP, Peter Pernot-de, the Singapore-based firm’s head of strategy, said Sheen, founded in China in 2008, is an “on-demand manufacturer … the global pioneer of this technology”.

Testing small quantities of products and ramping up production if demand occurs means Sheen has eliminated “inventory risk”, reports AFP.

Shein’s sales are set to rise 60 percent to $16 billion worldwide in 2021, Bloomberg reported, just behind Swedish high-street name H&M. Reportedly, with 11,000 employees worldwide, Sheen has big plans for further expansion.

“It is important to have teams that are in the countries and geographies and regions where we are doing business,” Pernot-de said.

According to an AFP report, the “localisation” strategy involves the construction of a new 40,000-square-metre (430,000 sq ft) warehouse in Poland, allowing faster delivery to the European market. “There will be more,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the recent World Retail Congress in Barcelona, ​​the brand’s executive vice president Donald Tang said Shein plans to focus more on sustainability.

According to a Reuters report, Tang said that consumers are no longer only concerned about affordability. “Consumers these days are no longer only looking at price,” Tang said. “The next phase of growth requires us to think about ESG in everything we do.” ESG, an acronym for environmental, social and governance, is a term used to describe the efforts of corporations to be more responsible. Reuters reports that Shein sells $10 dresses and $5 tops and has taken market share from other affordable fashion retailers.

Tang said that through its evoluSHEIN line, Shein is giving customers the option of choosing more sustainable materials and paying a premium for them. EvoluSHEIN items are partially made with recycled polyester, Reuters reports. He also mentioned Shein Exchange, the company’s platform where buyers can resell old clothing, which launched in the US in October and aims to roll out to other markets this year.

“These are the things we’re doing but it’s clearly not enough; we have to do a lot more, a lot more research,” Tang said.

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