Shein: Chinese Fast-Fashion Targets Sustainability
According to Shein's Executive Vice Chairman, Donald Tang, the Chinese fast-fashion retailer has plans to shift towards a greater focus on sustainability. Tang stated that consumers are now not only concerned about affordability but also increasingly prioritise sustainability.
Shein, known for its inexpensive clothing such as $10 dresses and $5 tops, has gained market share from other affordable fashion retailers. However, the company has faced criticism for promoting throwaway fashion, as it produces clothing in China to sell online in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
"At the World Retail Congress in Barcelona, Tang highlighted that consumers today are no longer solely focused on price when making purchasing decisions. To sustain growth in the next phase, companies need to prioritise environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations," Tang explained.
ESG, which stands for environmental, social, and governance, refers to the initiatives and actions taken by corporations to be more responsible in their business practices. This encompasses considerations related to environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance practices aimed at ensuring transparency, accountability, and ethical decision-making.
Tang revealed that Shein is working on providing customers with the option to choose higher-quality materials for certain items and pay a premium for them as part of their sustainability efforts. He also highlighted Shein Exchange, the company's platform that allows shoppers to resell used clothes, which launched in the US in October and is expected to expand to other markets later this year.
Tang further noted that Shein's growth has been consistently strong, with typically less than 2% of unsold inventory, indicating the company's success in managing its stock levels efficiently.