Taking a better look in on Shein


By Courtney Clark

Before researching more about fast fashion and the companies I bought from, I impulsively purchased many items from stores I no longer support.

$10 swimsuits? $6 shirts? And everything is good quality? This can’t be real!

But, sadly, it is. 

On sites like Romwe, Shein, and Zaful, everything is extremely low price without looking or feeling cheap.

And while this is great to be able to get new, affordable clothes for summer, there is a lot more to the site than what you purchase. From large, negative impacts on their workers to harming the environment, these sites cause a lot of damage.

As I have seen from online strangers (as well as my own friends) showing what they bought from these sites, these companies are unfortunately gaining a ton of popularity. Which means it promotes these shops not only to continue their business, but to make even more products as well.

And while I am against these companies, I am not saying that anyone that buys from these sites is a terrible person. I have bought many items from them in recent months, and I always thought something was weird about it since everything was so cheap. But I chose to stay ignorant until a couple weeks ago when I found out the horrifying truth.

For one, all three sites (Romwe, Shein, and Zaful) are under the same company and follow the traits of fast fashion. This means these clothing brands only follow trends and produce the latest styles quickly. Another point to fast fashion is that everything’s made to be affordable and accessible.

And sure, this may sound great. Trends are abundant and cheap at these shops, how can anything be wrong with that? And nothing is wrong with it, for the buyer.

But when it comes to the low morals and environmental damage these stores cause, that $6 shirt just isn’t worth it.

When trying to research ways Shein, Romwe, and Zaful try to lower their carbon footprint, support their workers, and reduce a negative impact on the planet and people, there is none. Sure, the sites may address certain topics. For example, how they warn their customers that shipping will take longer due to the current pandemic, but there is only insufficient information about their actual company.

So, with this lack of information and knowing that these companies are based in China, many assumptions have been made about the treatment of the workers. Though there has been speculations of the usage of sweatshops and child labor on the internet, nothing is confirmed since there is no factual evidence.

But that doesn’t stop the obvious fact that when a company produces cheap products in high volume, there is a likely chance that the workers are underpaid and overworked. Which is something I definitely regret putting my money towards.

Not to mention the damage it has on the environment.

Of course, all factories produce carbon emission and waste, but the overwhelming amount fast fashion contributes is absurd. Fast fashion companies use tons of plastic for packaging and the majority of the time fly overseas harming the ocean over time.

So, when looking at the bigger picture, companies like Romwe, Shein, and Zaful aren’t worth the true harm they cause. Of course, I’m not going to stop anyone from shopping at these sites, I just think it is helpful to know what I have learned before continuing to buy from these sites.

Personally, I will never shop there again and will encourage anyone looking for “cheap” clothes to use alternatives such as thrift shops and the clearance racks of some popular stores.

As I have now learned from this experience, I have found that it is better to shop safely by researching every new brand you want to try out. Because after all, is cheap clothing really more valuable than our planet?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email