The Chinese fashion supplier Shein is so fast and so cheap that it is no longer considered fast fashion but an ultra fast fashion brand. Despite being heavily criticized for copying competitors' designs, tolerating poor working conditions and delivering poor quality, Shein made $16 billion in sales last year. The customers are young and social media savvy, located in the USA as well as in Europe.
Greenpeace Germany is now accusing the cheap supplier of using dangerous chemicals in some of its products. And to such an extent that the limit values of the European chemicals regulation "REACH" are sometimes exceeded a hundredfold.
In addition, a glitter dress for girls contained too much formaldehyde, a pair of Sitletto boots and a synthetic leather motorcycle jacket were contaminated with nickel. Overall, at least one dangerous chemical was detected in 45 of the 47 articles, "albeit mostly in relatively low concentrations," writes Greenpeace. The test buyers bought the products in various European online shops and a pop-up store in Munich. They were made in China.
Greenpeace is not only concerned that Shein is willing to accept possible damaging effects on customers in Europe. "It also seems obvious that Shein has little control over the handling of hazardous substances within its supply chain." Workers are exposed to these during production and the environment is polluted by the chemicals. "Chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic when wearing a textile in Germany are even more so for the workers in Shein's factories in China. Hazardous chemicals must be banned from all textile production by law," demands Greenpeace expert Viola Wohlgemuth.
The star has asked Shein for a statement on the Greenpeace investigation, an answer is pending. The company told Der Spiegel that they take product safety very seriously. Suppliers would have to comply with standards such as the EU regulation REACH. The products named by Greenpeace were "removed immediately until the investigation was completed."