fast fashion needs to sloooow down now

by

Lauren Stiles

DM the CEO

August 4, 2021

Dear Chris Xu of SheIn,

Fast fashion is so yesterday. When I say this I mean that its negative effects are no secret and we KNOW you are playing a part in this destructive practice. It’s past time for this industry to correct itself and I urge you to be part of the change!

Your company is infamous for cheap prices and trendy pieces. You come out with new items and collections on a seemingly constant cycle, stealing original ideas from artists and promoting the kind of overconsumption that is so prominent in western culture. Such overconsumption is extremely damaging as it promotes the idea that cheap items are disposable and replaceable, leading many people to cycle through old clothing/other items quite quickly.

This throwaway culture is entirely unsustainable and you cannot claim to be environmentally conscious while promoting it. Your claims to sustainability are vague and entirely unsupported. Though you claim that you try to source polyester from recycled sources, I cannot believe you since you provide no proof of this.

To make matters worse, your products are often made of polyester, which is not sustainable since it is derived from fossil fuels, takes a lot of energy to create, is not biodegradable, and pollutes waterways with microplastics when washed. This fabric pollutes our land when sent to the landfill as well, as many of your pieces are.

On top of all of this, your labor practices are unacceptable. You provide no transparency about the factories you source from, which is something that you need to change. Though you say that “wages are above industry standard” and that you “campaign against unethical practices,” you don’t give us any information that confirms this.

Also, your claim that your factories are ISO “certified” is untrue. Actually ISO creates international standards, but does not give out certifications themselves. Such certifications have to come from organizations besides ISO. It’s obvious that you wanted consumers to take your word without making the effort to do further research. This kind of dishonesty is the reason why we don’t trust corporations like you.

It’s past time for you to improve your transparency. It’s time for you to move away from fast fashion. It’s time for you to make ethical labor a priority. Hold yourself accountable. 

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