Reliance Retail, in a strategic partnership, plans to introduce Chinese fashion giant Shein to the Indian market. This move comes after a two-year ban on the Shein app by the Indian government. According to informed executives, Shein may also consider sourcing from India for its operations in other countries, as it currently faces scrutiny in the United States.
A Reliance Retail official confirmed that the company will have full ownership and control of the partnership with Shein. Shein’s app was one of the Chinese entities banned by India’s Ministry of Information Technology three years ago. However, after discussions with the Ministry of Textiles, Shein’s proposal for a license agreement was surprisingly approved by the same entity.
Under this partnership, Shein will establish an application that will enable Reliance Retail to onboard 25,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that can sell their products to Shein’s global clientele. Additionally, Shein will launch a website as part of its operations. A textile ministry official stated that Shein has expressed its intention to significantly increase its sourcing of products from India, with potential estimates reaching Rs 50 billion in the coming years.
Shein was one of 59 Chinese applications banned in India in 2020 by the IT Ministry under Section 69A of the IT Act. This year it is relaunching in the subcontinent via Amazon in July. Despite its massive success in India, concerns over the brand’s governance and transparency have haunted many.
Shein: to Love or not to love
Overview: Fastest Growing E-Commerce Company
SHEIN is a Chinese fashion brand founded in 2008 that today generates approximately $10 billion USD in revenue and operates in 220 countries around the world. It follows the philosophy that “everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion” and focuses primarily on women’s clothing, accessories, and footwear, while also stocking a limited number of items from other categories. What’s the catch then?
Red flags for Shein
In addition to sustainability concerns, Shein has been at the center of criticism even otherwise! While it sells trending items at pleasantly low prices and of manageable reasonable or mediocre quality, it has worrisome aspects:
This leads to more consumption of clothing that does not last long and cannot be easily reused.
It has been in the midst of controversy over selling racially and religiously insensitive products.
Shein has also been accused of copying the original creators’ designs without giving them due credit.
It is reportedly one of several fast-fashion brands that employ laborers from developing countries in legally non-compliant situations.
Daily wage workers often work around 12-14 hours a day 7 days/week, referred to as a “sweetshop”.
They work in hazardous working conditions and are paid less than the minimum living wage – ranging from INR 3K-6K per month
Workers are exposed to poor quality materials and chemicals, which affect health in the long run.
People Love Shein
In a pandemic-driven e-commerce engagement, Shein recently surpassed Zara, H&M, and Forever 21 in fast fashion sales in the USA. When Shein announced his return to India, Instagram went out of control. Needless to say, we did too!
The retailer is a leader in building a real-time fashion model, based on in-depth and data-driven algorithms that find global trends and replicate them in as little as three days.
Its expertise in trend and demand forecasting, adapting to regional tastes, quick turnaround times, and offering a large variety of items make it an easy-to-pocket brand for consumers looking for high-priced yet sustainable fashion. Cannot buy the item. This simplifies the shopping experience while reducing the time and effort of decision making.
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- Shein to relaunch in India on Amazon, read everything here