Hidden conditions of Shein workers cause shopping deterrence of WCHS students


Photo by Nataly Behnia

A Shein bag with a clothing piece from the online store was bought and shipped to a WCHS student. Employees at Shein work 18 hour shifts everyday in order to make some of their most popular products that are shipped to customers across the world.

By Diya Kachoria, Photo Manager

Students at WCHS may know Shein as an online store with cheap clothing, good variety, and fast delivery. However, they may not realize that employees at Shein have been put under strenuous efforts in order to make the clothes that customers love. Working 18 hour shifts, making four cents an hour and taking showers during lunch breaks due to not having enough hours after work, are just some of the severe problems these workers in China have to deal with.

According to Business Insider, two-thirds of A Shein employee’s wage is taken out of their paycheck if they make any mistakes with packaging orders. With a huge amount of pressure and minimal room for mistakes provided, workers have no choice but to stick with the job in order to support their families and make a living for themselves. Messing up, even a little bit, can ruin these workers’ lives. Luckily, at WCHS some students see the harm towards Shein employees and are trying their best to raise awareness for the employee mistreatment. 

Aware of the conditions the workers are put under at Shein, WCHS senior Allison Coleman has avoided shopping at the online store for the past few years.

“Although the online store was popular during the pandemic, I did know about the hardships workers were put through,” Coleman said. “I did not order from Shein because even though it was a convenient option, I did not want to support a store that did not put their workers in their best interest.”

Shein has become popular during the past few years, mainly because of their less expensive products. Workers make at least 500 pieces of clothing a day, which allows for an endless variety of new products in a short amount of time. Clothing, accessories, and even shoes can be found for less than half the price it’s usually sold for at other local shoe or department stores because of how quickly Shein is producing. 

WCHS Senior Danielle Faerberg was also able to find a variety of other stores that she could find all of her fashion wants at, instead of shopping with the fast fashion industry.

“I found alternative online stores during the pandemic instead of ordering from Shein,” Faerberg said. “Places like American Eagle, Target, and more make it easier to order any clothing or accessories at a reasonable price.”

Celebrities and social media influencers including Emma Chamberlain, Madelyn Cline, and Joshua Bassett support other clothing brands and stores in order to convince their younger audiences to step away from the fast-fashion industry. Several reports and protests have taken place across the world against stores like Shein, and people are trying to make progress towards the end of the cruelty.

“I have tried my best to persuade friends and family to step away from Shein,” Faerberg said. “Although it is tempting to buy from a store that has become so popular, it will help people in the long run.”

Some students at WCHS, like Coleman and Faerberg, do believe that the small impact they are making could lead to bigger change even outside of the school community. Even with the benefits of shopping at a store like Shein, they believe that the problems workers experience should be made noticeable to several more people.

“I have educated several peers at WCHS on the horrible conditions thare taking place at Shein’s headquarters in China,” Coleman said. “My hope is that others will take this problem seriously, and a difference will be made in other countries.”