Shein is worth 100 billion: this is how Chinese fast fashion is conquering the world

Shein is worth 100 billion: this is how Chinese fast fashion is conquering the world

Shein, a Chinese fast fashion company, worth $ 100 billion: according to an article published by the Wall Street Journalthe platform has concluded a round of funding that has led it to the Olympus of private companies with the highest valuation in the world.

According to the US media, al round of financing General Atlantic and a number of other companies that had already invested in the Chinese startup, such as Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital China, also participated.

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A success built over the years

The $ 100 billion valuation is a huge result for a company born about 10 years ago, as an ecommerce of wedding dresses. However, this is not an unexpected or unexpected result for the most attentive observers: over the last few years, Shein has climbed the download rankings on all platforms, even surpassing, in May 2021, even Amazon on the App Store of iOS as the most downloaded shopping category app in the United States. In June of the same year, Shein topped H&M, Zara and Forever 21 in sales, becoming the most important fast fashion retailer in the United States.

The keys to success: from social networks to the algorithm

A success built over the years, with a strategy that has involved social networks in an extremely effective way. Specifically, Shein has worked with great attention on TikTok, another of the companies of Chinese origin that is conquering the West. And he did it by involving many common users, with an affiliate program thanks to which anyone can become an influencer of the brand. At the same time, the company has also invested in well-known creators, such as Addison Rae (who is?) In the USA. The result is 24 billion views of the #Shein hashtag on TikTok alone and a success that mainly involves the youngest, who are the largest users of the Bytedance app.

If social networks have contributed to the reputation of the brand, Shein’s recipe for success starts from two main components. On the one hand, a practically endless catalog: on the platform you can find any kind of clothing, from casual to elegant, with cuts very similar to those of the most famous designers; on the other hand, all these garments are sold at very low prices, almost impossible to beat.

Lots of items, at very low cost: in other words, the dream of any person interested in buying clothes. Shein succeeds in this irresistible mix thanks to a proprietary algorithm (we talked about it who) which manages the entire process of designing, manufacturing and distributing clothing. A computer system, in other words, which analyzes the Web in search of new styles, submits these ideas to a team of designers and then entrusts the production to a group of companies, which make the garment according to the requests of the public.

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Copyright problems and doubts about the environmental impact

Such an effective system can, of course, have a number of negative consequences: in the last few years, as told by the online magazine Rest of World, Shein faced a number of copyright infringement lawsuits. The system, moreover, is clear: the algorithm studies the trends that work and replicates the styles of well-known brands. Among the brands that have requested compensation from the Chinese company there are Levi Strauss e Dr. Martens: the latter then found an agreement for a sum that was not disclosed.

The other accusation frequently leveled at Shein concerns the negative impact on the environment: according to an article by Euronews, Molly Miao, CEO of Shein, explained that between 700 and 1000 items appear on the platform per day. This is a fact that pushes the concept of fast fashion to extremes: according to an Edited survey, 70% of the products on the site are less than 3 months old.

Along with the environmental impact, there are doubts about the conditions of the workers: Shein is based on the competition between small / medium manufacturing companies, called to make the garments in the shortest possible time to satisfy the algorithm’s requests. An investigation by the Chinese newspaper Sixth Tone revealed the dire conditions of many of the workers of the companies part of the Shein system, forced to work for very long shifts in extremely small buildings and not very suitable for the industrial production of clothing.

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