The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

Stylish or shady: a deep dive into Shein’s controversy

Shein, a clothing website popular for its affordability, is currently facing backlash from its consumers for exploiting small artists as well as producing large amounts of waste.

Shein (She-in) was founded in 2012 and is a Chinese website that brings together over 6,000 clothing factories to provide a seemingly endless scroll for the newest fashion trends for only a couple of dollars.

Many consumers buy clothes from Shein in mass amounts which is called a haul. (McKinzie Cusipag)

According to Rest of World, Shein adds anywhere from 2,000- 10,000 new items each day, which leads critics to wonder how this could possibly be sustainable.


In fact, most returns end up in the landfill, as it’s more cost-efficient than putting them back in circulation with the company. Additionally, it’s been speculated that the website rips off designs from smaller creators and sells them at cheaper prices. 

Understandably, artists are outraged. Krista Perry, a Massachusetts artist, is just one who has been affected by this. After calling Shein out, and receiving an offer of $500 dollars in exchange for her designs (which she refused), she replies:

“How dare you contact me after my artwork has been stolen and the hard time I was put through with the people at Shein to resolve it… Shein and [its sister company] Romwe have stolen artwork from both myself and many of my hardworking friends and colleagues.”

I don’t make that much money as a Caribou Barista, so please raise my pay so I don’t have to buy my stuff off of Shein.

— Ashlyn Swanson

On the other hand, Shein provides a place where teens can buy clothes that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. Most Shein enthusiasts argue that they would try to avoid fast fashion, but it’s unrealistic when they only work part-time.

On a poll taken from a variety of Sartell Sabre Students, 100% of Shein purchasers said they would purchase again, and a fan favorite from the site is their swimsuits! 

Sartell Senior, McKinzie Cusipag wearing a Shein dress while on vacation with her family.



Q: Do you shop from Shein, and why?

Morgan Gill (SHS Senior) : “Yes, I love it. Also, because I’m broke, but I like cute clothes and that’s the easiest way to get them.”

Bailey Diebel (SHS Senior) : “Yes! Although it’s kind of hit or miss with the quality, when it’s a hit, it’s a hit for like three dollars, and I feel like that’s worth it.”


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