OECD investigates Shein in France

French Socialist MPs made their application on June 20, submitting it to OECD’s National Contact Point (NCP) in France. After confirming that the referral was formally acceptable, the latter stated that it held a first meeting with Shein’s representatives on September 6.“NCP notes that the evidence in support of the referral provided by the complainants is sufficiently detailed to lead to an initial assessment,” said OECD in a press release issued on November 14, adding that “NCP will subsequently take into consideration the response that [Shein] may wish to submit.”

Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, the Chinese group said that “Shein responded quickly, and met with NCP after we were approached in July. It added that “we have cooperated and we will continue to cooperate fully to answer any questions NCP may have.”

Ethical, environmental, legal questions

The French MPs’ referral raised eight issues, starting with whether Shein respects local law in producing and selling its products in France (including labour law), and whether its activity meets duty of vigilance requirements. The other issues regard respect for human rights and appropriate working conditions, Shein’s due diligence with regards to its subsidiaries, suppliers and subcontractors, and whether Shein’s business practices negatively impact the environment and consumer health. “We believe (…) that the manufacturing and supply chain practices adopted by Shein for the products it commercialises in France do not respect human rights, the environment, or consumers’ interests,” said the group of French Socialist and allied MPs in a statement released on November 14, in which they defined Shein as the epitome of “hard fast fashion.”

The statement mentioned the fact that Shein introduces 8,000 extremely low-priced new items on its website every day. “Every day, thousands of Chinese workers have to endure brutally long working hours to meet this kind of demand,” the statement said, also mentioning the lasting environmental impact of Shein’s business practices.Reactions to the OECD’s investigation of Shein were quick to follow. Yann Rivoallan, president of the French Ready-to-wear Federation, has welcomed the enquiry. “It is time to assess whether this company really complies with international regulations and French law,” he stated on social media, adding that “Shein must comply with international regulations. The ultra-fast fashion sector as a whole must abide by French law.”คำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง

Targeting Shein

Shein is currently in the regulators’ cross-hairs in other countries besides France. In the USA, where Shein has buried the hatchet with its compatriot Temu, regulators have accused the group (and Temu too) of exploiting a customs loophole to import huge quantities of products into the country, while circumventing tax and human rights laws (as reported by FashionNetwork.com).

Shein started out as an online retailer. NGOs quickly found that it exploited a network of small Chinese apparel factories whose output had always catered to the local market (as reported by FashionNetwork.com)คำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. Shein’s strategy focused on limited production runs, keeping close tabs on  trends in order to minimise unsold inventory. Over time, Shein expanded its scope and turned into a marketplace, attracting third-party vendors through its sustained site traffic.Helped by rising inflation, Shein soon began to export its ultra-budget products to the West. In November 2022, Bloomberg estimated that Shein had already captured a 50% share of the US fast-fashion market, overtaking H&M and Zara, although Temu reportedly leapfrogged Shein in the USA recently. In Europe, Shein is already said to rank second among cross-border fashion e-tailers, slotting in between Zalando and Vinted.

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