Shein Wants to ‘Ignite a Cultural Movement of Circularity’ With Launch Into Resale

Shein is the latest retailer to get into the resale game.

The fast-fashion e-commerce company announced on Monday that it has launched Shein Exchange, a new online peer-to-peer resale destination to buy and sell previously owned Shein products.

According to Shein, the new destination was created in partnership with resale technology platform Treet and is now available to all U.S. customers with plans to expand to other global markets next year.

Shein added that the pilot version of its new platform is part of the company’s larger commitment to address the ongoing issues of textile waste and build a future of fashion that is more circular. “By driving its community of millions U.S. customers to buy or resell on Shein Exchange, Shein aims to influence and promote mindful consumption among its customers, ultimately extending the life of as many items as possible,” the company said in a press release about the launch.

Adam Whinston, global head of ESG at Shein, said in a statement that the goal of Shein Exchange is to “make resale just as easy and convenient” as buying something brand new, while also “igniting a cultural movement of circularity” within our own Shein community.

“We’re calling on our community to mobilize and keep previously owned clothing in circulation for as long as possible,” Whinston said. “By harnessing the reach and the influence of our growing community, we believe that shopping resale can become the new normal in our industry.”

As part of its sustainability journey, this year Shein announced a $50 million Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Fund, a commitment to the CanopyStyle Initiative to keep Ancient and Endangered Forests out of the viscose supply chain and the launch of a purpose-driven clothing label to foster responsible customer choices and behaviors.

What’s more, the company released in September new targets to reduce overall emissions across its entire value chain by 25% by 2030 and its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory for 2021 – the year that will serve as the company’s baseline for achieving its science-based targets.

Shein also announced last month it is committing up to $7.6 million in programmatic funding to Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), a nonprofit organization dedicated to decarbonizing and modernizing the fashion industry supply chain, in order to “build the roadmap for emissions reduction” within its supply chain.

And earlier this year, Shein became a signatory of World Circular Textiles Day, a coalition of brands, suppliers and other organizations who share a mission to shift the fashion and textiles industry toward full circularity by 2050.

These efforts to boost sustainable practices comes the same day as a new investigation by the U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 which spotlights poor working conditions inside two of its factories in Guangzhou. The outlet found that workers in both factories were working up to 18-hour days and were given only one day off a month.

Shein has repeatedly come under fire for similar issues regarding poor working conditions, high levels of toxic chemicals in its clothing, copying independent designers’ items and mishandling customer data.

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