Taking the Shine off SHEIN: Hazardous chemicals in SHEIN products break EU regulations, new report finds

Gerard Ortiz

Hamburg, Germany – The ultra-quick-vogue brand name SHEIN has a small business product based on hazardous chemical compounds and environmental destruction, according to a new Greenpeace Germany report.[1] Product tests on 47 SHEIN merchandise found that 7 of them (15%), contained harmful chemical substances that split EU regulatory limits, with five of these items breaking the limitations by 100% or extra, when according to the checks a complete of 15 of the goods have hazardous chemical substances at amounts of concern (32%).[2]

Greenpeace Germany acquired 42 things, together with garments and footwear for guys, gals, children and infants, from SHEIN sites in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, and five objects from a pop-up store in Munich, Germany. The products ended up despatched to independent laboratory BUI for chemical analysis. The results – which incorporate pretty substantial stages of phthalates in sneakers and formaldehyde in a infant girl’s costume – prove, according to Greenpeace Germany, SHEIN’s careless mind-set towards environmental and human health risks connected with the use of harmful chemical compounds, in pursuit of income. Even even worse, the report finds that the company, which is headquartered in Nanjing, China, is breaking EU environmental laws on substances and jeopardizing the health of individuals and the employees at the suppliers that make the merchandise. 

Viola Wohlgemuth, Toxics and Circular economy Campaigner with Greenpeace Germany explained:

“Greenpeace Germany’s conclusions present that the use of hazardous chemical compounds underpins SHEIN’s extremely quickly fashion business enterprise product, which is the reverse of being long term-evidence. SHEIN items containing harmful chemicals are flooding European marketplaces and breaking rules – which are not becoming enforced by the authorities. But it’s the personnel in SHEIN’s suppliers, the men and women in encompassing communities and the natural environment in China that bear the brunt of SHEIN’s harmful chemical dependancy. At its core, the linear business enterprise product of rapid style is totally incompatible with a local weather-welcoming long run – but the emergence of ultra quick manner is further more accelerating the local weather and environmental disaster and need to be stopped in its tracks through binding legislation. Options to getting new must turn out to be the new norm.”

In the final few of yrs SHEIN has developed exponentially through advertising 1000’s of new layouts each individual day to youthful persons and even little ones through social media, and then creating them in below a 7 days in a network of up to 1000’s of suppliers in China, even undercutting its competition with the speed of its generation and with its extremely cheap, small high quality and disposable goods.[3] Its new extremely rapidly fashion company product usually takes the extremes of overconsumption even further more in its development of textile squander, and frequent studies of exploitation of workers and the atmosphere in its provide chain.

EU rules on hazardous substances in imported merchandise set rigid concentration limitations under the Access Regulation for a array of harmful substances in outfits, accessories and sneakers bought in Europe. A loophole which excluded imported goods from these prerequisites was shut right after evidence from Greenpeace’s Detox My Style campaign confirmed how the use of harmful chemical substances by textiles suppliers in World South nations around the world was also top to drinking water air pollution in the EU.[4]  Dangerous chemicals in clothing are also a important barrier to textiles recycling.

“Greenpeace is contacting for the EU to implement its legal guidelines on dangerous substances – which are a primary requirement for accomplishing a round textiles economy and the conclusion of rapid trend, as established out in the EU’s possess Textiles Strategy.” stated Wohlgemuth. “But the EU’s proposals also have to have to acquire on the inhuman technique of exploitation and destruction by ultra fast manner that must have no place in any field in the 21st century, by holding corporations entirely accountable for environmental and social exploitation in their source chains and the impacts from manner waste. This also requires to be urgently tackled by way of a world wide treaty, very similar to the just lately agreed UNEA plastics treaty that is presently being talked over, to ultimately deal with the giant style footprint.” said Wohlgemuth.

The fast trend organization design is infamous for the substantial volumes of oil-primarily based clothes  that are developed, the velocity they are introduced to current market, and for tales of outsize environmental and social impacts. In accordance to field sources, considerably less than 1% of textiles are manufactured from aged textiles, but each individual second a truckload of textiles finishes up in landfills or is incinerated.[5] The most noticeable of these complications is the extensive quantity of polluting textile waste ever more getting shipped to East Africa and other World-wide South nations around the world, as not long ago claimed by Greenpeace Germany.

This most recent evolution of speedy style forces suppliers to produce at breakneck speed, with orders consistently created three situations as fast as its closest rival Zara – and sent immediate to consumers all around the entire world by air freight.[1][6] Greenpeace Germany suggests in their report that SHEIN’s business design depends on the lack of enforcement of polices created to safeguard the environment, and the well being and basic safety of employees and customers, as the organization routinely violates polices.

Ends

Pics accessible in the Greenpeace Media Library.

Notes:

[1] Website link to the report: Using the Glow off SHEIN: A organization product dependent on harmful chemical compounds and environmental destruction

[2] For goods sold in Europe, rigid focus limitations are established less than the Achieve Regulation for a range of hazardous substances (whether or not present as additives or contaminants) in outfits textiles, accessories and sneakers.

[3] 1000s of new layouts = “A total of 6,753 products and solutions had been added on that day” (General public Eye) moreover numerous other references, some as superior as 10,000 a working day (the Guardian)

[4] Greenpeace International Detox My Trend campaign – See: Dirty Laundry 2: Hung Out to Dry, September 2011, and Dirty Laundry 3: Reloaded, March 2012

[5] Marketplace resources involve: Considerably less than 1% of textiles – Company of Fashion/McKinsey (2021), Condition of Trend 2021, site 65 A person rubbish truck of textiles each and every second – Ellen McArthur Foundation (2017), A new textiles overall economy: Redesigning fashion’s foreseeable future, p 37

[6] Public Eye (2021), Toiling absent for SHEIN Zara (Inditex)

Get hold of: 

Viola Wohlgemuth, toxics and circular overall economy campaigner, Greenpeace Germany: +49 () 151 22 18 09 71, [email protected]

Anna Arbogast, press officer, Greenpeace Germany: +49 () 175 80 41 025, [email protected]

Greenpeace Intercontinental Push Desk: +31 ()20 718 2470 (available 24 hrs), [email protected]

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