Shein rose to fame through social media influencers and its surprisingly low costing fashion items. The online clothing retailer has over USD 10 billion views on TikTok. The fast fashion platform marketed itself as business-to-consumer brand, and relied on offering on trend styles that won’t break the bank.
Other fast fashion retailers like Zara and H&M usually introduce new products by tracking trends, Shein relies on real time data cutting the process by 5 to 7 days. Recently, big online retailers like Bagallery has also introduced Shein products on its websites, at surprisingly high prices. A simple piece of jewellery that would cost about USD 2, is being sold at PKR 5000 to 8000 on Bagallery, and other local e-commerce platforms.
So, is Shein really worth it? For starters, if you are pro environment, you should try to avoid the brand. The clothes are not made to last. They are created from synthetic fabrics allowing the company to target its customers by offering extremely low prices. This means that every item you buy from Shein will end up in landfill a few months from now. Unless you are an absolute desi, and you keep the cloth to use as a dusting rag.
Shein does not care about cultural appropriation and religious sentiments. A few years ago, Shein was found guilty of selling Muslim prayer mats as Greek carpets. The Greek carpets, as Shein labelled them had pictures of the Holy Kaaba on them. After backlash the company apologized, only to sell a necklace that had the swastika on it.
It sells low quality products. A friend of mine ordered a purse from Bagallery on sale by Shein. The tiny purse cost her 1500 PKR. On arrival we both burst into laughter because the quality of the purse was abysmal. It was made of low quality synthetic leather, and the finishing was extremely off-putting. If you want to spend your hard earned money on something, pay a few extra rupees and buy something that is at least going to last a season.
by Amna Sheikh