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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Digital Fridays >>> Shein's Domination of the Fast Fashion Industry

Shein, a fashion company originating from China has caught the world by storm with their affordable range of clothing items. The company has been extremely successful in captivating their online audience with a variety of eye-catching, trendy and inexpensive clothing items. The fashion company has become so popular that they recently passed Amazon for having the most downloads on its app in the United States.

“It kind of became a habit, -- before sleeping, I'm just like ‘okay, check in’” , Anushka a 20 year old university student comments about her use of the Shein app. Anushka logs into the app daily for the same reason everyone else does, to collect points. Shein rewards their customers with “points” that allow even further discounted values on purchases. Shein dishes out points from simply login into the app to entering outfit design contests. Shein also collaborates with multiple celebrities like Addison Rae and Katy Perry to market their products and reach out to their target audiences. This has enchanted a large young following around their fast fashion brand.

But how do fast fashion businesses operate? Recent studies have unveiled that in the 1980’s an average American bought around 12 new pieces of clothing every year, now this number has shot up to 68 per year. To capitalise on this high demand, fast fashion companies such as Zara and Fashion Nova have to follow a “quick response manufacturing” model which knocks off a design from higher ended fashion companies quickly, keeps raw materials inhouse for production and streamlines distribution.

This allows fast fashion companies to operate at extraordinary rates. Shein however have been producing at even faster rates, seemingly beating major players like Zara and H&M at their own game. Senior analysist at Coresight Research Erin Schmidt commented “They’re making fast fashion look slow”.

Everything about Shein is set up to dominate the global fast fashion industry, even the name Shein was rebranded from the original name of “Sheinside” to make the company easier to remember and look for online.

However, with such a rapid rate of production, questions regarding their process such as who their suppliers are and what the working conditions for workers in the apparel factories are, have become major concerns. Moreover, the contribution to textile waste, which already stands at 92 million tons every year, is another growing trend that fast fashion contributes to, because of the barrage of new clothes that fast fashion stores like Shein throw at their customers at stupendously low prices.

August 20th | 10:35 PM

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