Shein.com Employee Reveals Dark Secrets Hidden From The Public

By Nick Hadji 10 months ago

Shein Clothing Makers Do 18-Hour Days

image source: reddit.com
It might be nothing new to learn that 'fast' fashion really does mean fast, because the workers are spitting out so many items during long, long work days. But employees at Shein who make the clothes work at least an 18 hour day - and that's an intensive day with non-stop physical labor.Original content sourced from Femanin.com

Free Time Is Pretty Much Non-Existent

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As you can imagine with such long working days, that leaves free time pretty much... non-existent. They can't go home and relax after a hard day's work and try a few hobbies - by the sounds of it, they don't even have enough time to catch up on sleep. What would that leave, a few hours rest?

They Have To Wash Their Hair During Lunch Breaks

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When you have so little free time (if any) and such long work shifts, even basic things like personal hygiene start becoming desperate. Some workers have no time at all to sort themselves out at home, so they've resorted to washing their hair during their work lunch breaks.

One Employee Said They Start At 8am, And Finish At 2 Or 3am - The Next Day!

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Just to put those long, long working days in perspective, an employee can start at 8am one day - and while most of us would expect to be done by 5pm or at the latest 6pm (which we'd probably grumble about), this person wouldn't finish until 2am or 3am the next day. And then how much time does that leave before the next 8am start the same day?

They Also Work 7 Days A Week

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Maybe they can catch up on sleep and personal hygiene on their days off during the week, right? Nope, unfortunately not. Shein workers work every single day, Monday to Sunday. And that means every single day working those ridiculously long hours - so an entire week must feel like one whole, neverending shift.

They Only Get 1 Day Off A Month

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Oh wait, but there's good news: they do get a day off! 1 day off a month, that is. Can you imagine how exhausted you would be during that one day off in a 4 week span? That still wouldn't leave you time to do anything at all, as you'd probably spend the whole day sleeping. Think of the amount of chores and things left undone.

They Don't Know What Sunday Is

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Okay, so in today's society, a lot of people work weekends and Sunday isn't always the traditional 'day of rest' it was supposed to be - but most of us know the sentiment of what a Sunday, or at least a weekend, is supposed to be outside of work. Shein employees don't get that.

The Workers Are Known To Be Chinese (And Underpaid)

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Fast fashion companies have been notorious for their 'made in China' labels and Chinese workforce, and the reason for this is because things made in China are cheaper while usually exploiting the workforce with a very low salary and more working hours. The Shein employees are no exception.

They Earn A Base Salary Of 4,000 Yuan (About 556 Dollars) A Month

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You might have thought with working those whopping great shifts - and 7 days a week at that - that Shein employees would be coming out with a huge salary to make up for all that work so they can spend their hard-earned money - but unfortunately they only get paid around $556 a month, 4,000 Yuan.

They Have To Make 500 Clothing Pieces A Day - Minimum

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With an 18-hour-a-day shift on average, you'd expect workers to be spitting out a lot of fashion items in that time. But not only is the shift long, but it's also full of the absolute pressure of making a minimum of 500 clothing pieces a day. This is the very least they have to do.

Their First Month's Wage Is Kept From Them

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A Shein employee's very first wage for their first month's work - which isn't a lot at all, as we've established, barely nothing - is actually withheld from them. This means they have to work 18 hour shifts, 7 days a week, with one day off in the month, without a sign of their paycheck just yet.

They Can Earn Commission On Each Item - 0.14 Yuan ($0.02)

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A lot of jobs will give you the opportunity to earn extra commission on sales you make, which is an incentive for a lot of hard-working people to get bonuses so they can treat themselves. For Shein workers - who should get high commission just based on how hard they're working! - they only get 0.14 Yuan commission for every item - that's about $0.02.

At Some Shein Factories, They Don't Earn A Base Salary At All

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There is more than one Shein factory, after all, and the wage rules can be different for each factory. In another, they actually don't get a base salary - instead, they're paid for every item they produce, which of course puts more pressure on the worker to do more. They can earn around 0.27 Yuan (under 4 cents) for every item.

If They Make One Mistake, They Have Some Of Their Wage Taken Away

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Think about how easy it is to make a mistake in your own job when you're working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and you're tired. Now think how likely mistakes are when you're working 18+ hour days with little to no sleep, 7 days a week. And then you get fined and have some of your wage taken away if you do make a mistake. That's the life of a Shein worker.

The Fine Can Be As Big As Two Thirds Of Their Wage

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So how much do they have taken off them for one mistake? You might think it's logical to be fined the price they'd get paid for that one item - but it's much worse than that. They can actually get fined a whopping 2/3 of their wage, for a single mistake on a single item.

It's Pretty Much Slavery

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If that wasn't obvious up to this point, yes Shein workers' lives and working schedules is pretty much slavery - it's slave labor. They're working the majority of their lives for next to nothing in return - practically working for free - without even having the time to sleep.

They Steal The Designs Of Other Artists

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Shein is also one example of fast fashion ripping off the designs of other independent artists. There has been more than one case of Shein stealing the designs of other items in order to sell their own similar style. A lot of the victims have been independent small business owners with their own designs.

This Is Not Only Plagiarism, But It Can Make Independent Businesses Lose Money

image source: mylondon.com
And this isn't just about the fact that they've stolen an original design. Because Shein then sells the same design at a much, much lower price, consumers are bound to buy that one instead of the original artist's more expensive version. So the profits of their business are being negatively impacted.

They Prey On Impulsive Buyers

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We've all had at least one Shein.com pop up on our browser, because they make sure to have a lot of pop-ups on social media, with low-quality adverts which nonetheless entice those impulsive buyers looking for a quick and cheap purchase. Shein knows that, and acts on it.

Their Clothes Are Made Using Plastic, Which Never Break Down

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As you can imagine with clothes which are made and sold so cheaply, the best (or the most eco-friendly) materials are definitely not used. Most of their clothes will be made from plastic materials like polyester, which will never really break down when they get thrown out.

Do Shein Clothes Also Contain Lead?

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There's also been some testing into whether Shein clothes actually contain lead. There has been a trend of people buying lead-testing kits in order to test out their Shein clothing, and it turns out that some of them allegedly have been coming back as positive.

The Wage They Make Is Illegal In Some Countries

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To put it in perspective of how dire their wage actually is (which is unfortunately already obvious), the amount of money they earn would actually be illegal in some countries of the world. It would be against the law to pay people so little for so many hours of work.

Some Employees Might Have Families

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Those working conditions, working hours and amount of income would be devastating for a single person who lived alone - but imagine some of these employees actually having families and children. They'd barely see them - if anything, it would be impossible to spend quality time with them, or even have money to do anything with them.

Were Shein Employees Really Asking For Help Through Labels?

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If you didn't already hear about this during the time it went viral on TikTok, there was a time when people were posting videos and photos of labels in which they thought Shein employees had been writing secret messages to ask for help due to their working conditions.

Shein Denied The Claims

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Shein came back with a rather flimsy explanation, in which they called the labels and the viral videos all a big misunderstanding. They said that the 'we need your help' type labels were intended, and related to how the items should be cared for and washed. Make of that what you will.

Shein Has Never Openly Given Information About Its Practices

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Most of the dark secrets uncovered about this fashion brand have been as part of undercover investigations. You'd think the best way for Shein to defend itself would be to openly release all information about how its clothes are made - but they haven't openly revealed anything in great detail, which has been taken to be suspicious.

But It Claims To Have 'Fair' Working Conditions And Pay

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Despite all the rumors and everything uncovered about this particular fashion brand, Shein still boasts the tagline of having "fair pay for all" and works to fight against any rumors or viral videos to the contrary. So if they're telling the truth, why have undercover investigations found the opposite? And if they're lying, that makes it even worse.

Does Shein Employ Child Labor?

image source: gbc-education.org
Another question that has been - understandably - raised about Shein's working conditions is whether the fashion brand employs child workers. There has been no evidence to show this, and Shein has always denied it, saying it has "never engages in child or forced labor".

Their Warehouses Have 'Major Risks' In Them

image source: fashionunited.com
Apart from the risks of workers collapsing from exhaustion by the sounds of it, official reports into warehouse conditions actually state that their performance is 'mediocre' and that 1-3 risks are present for their supplier factories and warehouses, where 'corrective action' is needed.

Their Clothes Are So Cheaply Made They Don't Last

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If you've ever picked up a Shein clothing item in the past, you might already know how quickly they fall apart or get ruined in the wash. They're definitely not a long-term investment. To make matters worse, because of the plastic material we mentioned before, this means they're more likely to be thrown out - and negatively impact the planet.

Expectation Versus Reality: Shein Shopping Fails - These Stick On Mirrors

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Shein is known for its huge failings in terms of 'what I expected versus what I got', in particular for its small sizes and cheap production. But you'd think that with a mirror, that only works one simple way, you'd at least get that right. But nope - apparently not. Unless she actually looks like Sid the Sloth.

This Doggy Tank Top Completely Tanked

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Okay, so this all depends on whether any description said 'only suitable for very tiny dogs' like in the picture - but you would think that a pug would be fair game, wouldn't you? Either Shein got their sizing way wrong - again - or this pug is on the chonky side. Or both.

Well, Technically It Has Bangs...

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Wigs are always risky when you buy them online, unless you buy them direct from a high-quality supplier. You probably wouldn't trust Shein to get a wig right, after all. And this just proves it... I mean, it does have rainbow colors and bangs, it's just a bit... off. And faded, to say the least.

This Is A Bit Bananas

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Okay, let's start with the fact that this is even a thing anywhere. It wouldn't even make sense as a Halloween costume. But we're not going to judge people who want to buy it... It might have looked ridiculous on the online photo, but what happened in real life was just too bananas!

Something's A Bit Fishy

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We know that most online stores will be quick to tell you that 'color may deviate' from what's shown on the website due to people having different screen settings etc... but this just takes the biscuit. Or maybe the fish. Instead of whimsical bright pink, you're just getting a dull grey color that looks... well, like a fish.

See The Difference?

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It'd be hard to see anything with those, let's be honest. It looks like someone took an old reel of negatives from a camera and stuck some tape across the front and called them 'sunglasses'. We don't think they'd protect from UV light, but at the very least they could have looked good.

Red Or Black?

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We don't know what's worse - the weird design, the fact that the color is very clearly red when being sold but black in real life, or that the guy is potentially happy about this purchase. These wouldn't be so bad if they were actually the color they were supposed to be!

That's Not Where Those Are Supposed To Go

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Now Shein is known for misleading marketing when something ends up different, but you can't really mistake 'earrings' for 'nose rings'. Not only do the earrings look nothing like the photo, they're also supposed to be two different ones when these doll heads match.

Not Quite Right

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Okay, so you could argue that these two have completely different body shapes and sizes. But, if the woman did order the right size correct for her - which surely she did - there's no excuse for this. The clothing should look the same no matter the size. This is just something very wrong.

Send Them Bat?

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The customer definitely doesn't look too happy about these - and who can blame her. Okay, so the original design looks pretty cool, especially for some vampire geddup on Halloween, but the glasses really don't look that cool in real life. Nice in theory, poor execution!

What Are Those?

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We know what you're thinking. We're thinking it too. But to be fair, these finger covers are actually a thing in the hospitality industry, apparently, because they're good for covering up finger wounds and keeping bandages dry. But it's just the weird fact that Shein sells these. As a fashion item.

This Will Get People Talking

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Did you think the doll's head earrings were bad enough? At least the customer didn't try to hang them from her nose this time. Although to be fair, hung just right, they would have looked normal in front of her mouth! We don't know why Shein would sell these, but hey - Halloween makes people do crazy things.

Once You See It...

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This is one of those rare moments where Shein might actually have gotten it right! There's nothing too odd about this product photo, right? Well, apart from the fact the customer decided to review by taking a photo of someone in the background using the toilet. If that doesn't make you want to buy it, what will?

'Fashion' Glasses... Sure

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So you could say these are actually a cute pair of sunglasses - probably more so for a kid, but who are we to judge. The problem is, they're a very nice blue color on the website - and definitely not a very nice blue color in real life! The buyer doesn't seem too bothered, though...

Insoles Like You've Never Seen Them Before

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Okay, so we know insoles are valid for shoes and fashion - they serve a purpose. But have you ever seen any like these before? Looking at the product photo, they look like tiny little shoes for hooves. In the customer review? Nightmare fuel, let's be honest. Would that even be comfortable?

Sliding All The Way Along The Color Wheel

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These cord braided sandals actually look really pretty in the product photo - but these things often do, right? The beige neutral color is great, it's probably a huge selling point... except when you get them, they're actually a weird khaki green color. Not to mention the fit...

When You Get Plastic Instead Of Cotton

image source: buzzfeednews.com
When you're ordering a casual cotton dress from Shein, you might expect it to be a weird fit, or a different color than you expected, but would you ever expect it to be a completely different material? It's not even kind of close - it's marketed as cotton, and turns up as a sheet of plastic!

Who Ordered The Jeans With Flippers?

image source: theussun.com
You can't really go wrong with a good pair of jeans - that's what we thought before we saw this, anyway. The jeans on the site obviously look longer than most jeans, but you probably couldn't expect them to be long enough to craft your own pair of swimfins out of them.

Bandage Disaster

image source: bestfulfill.com
Bodycon bandage dresses are a popular staple, and you can't really go wrong with them. The biggest problem would be the bodycon being tighter than you thought - but did you ever expect it to be looser than you thought? So loose, that it's like you're dressed as a fashion disaster mummy on Halloween?

Where Did Those Buttons Come From?

image source: insider.com
Okay, so the top at least looks very similar in color and style, if not for the huge balloon arms, but it's not the worse we've seen. The problem is that skirt! Imagine if you'd ordered the skirt in the picture and got the one on the left.. not knowing there were buttons? Or supposed to be buttons? Who knows.