September 23, 2023

Three US senators have written to the chief govt officer of Shein, China’s largest personal on-line retailer, demanding data on whether or not the fast-fashion firm sources cotton tied to pressured labour.

In a letter dated Thursday, Republican Invoice Cassidy of Louisiana and Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island sought particulars in regards to the firm’s procurement course of and its hyperlinks to Xinjiang, a area of China whose merchandise are banned for import into the US by federal legislation. That legislation designates items from the area to be merchandise of pressured labour — a designation the Chinese language authorities has disputed. The letter requested a response inside 30 days.

The corporate instructed Bloomberg in an emailed assertion Thursday that it has “zero tolerance in opposition to pressured labour.”

The congressional letter to CEO Xu Yangtian cites a November Bloomberg report that used laboratory testing to find out that clothes ordered from Shein on two events final 12 months had been product of cotton from Xinjiang. On the time, Shein didn’t dispute Bloomberg’s check outcomes or say whether or not it makes use of cotton from the area, however mentioned it takes steps in all its international markets “to make sure we adjust to native legal guidelines and rules.”

The senators’ letter requested Shein to supply particulars about that course of, in addition to the way it ensures that not one of the cotton it sends to the US originates in Xinjiang.

Shein mentioned it had engaged third-party businesses to conduct common, unannounced audits of provider services.

“Shein requires that our suppliers buy cotton from Australia, Brazil, India, US and different accepted areas,” the assertion mentioned. “Now we have constructed and carried out a traceability administration system that provides visibility to the origins of cotton all through the whole manufacturing course of.”

Study extra:

How Shein Gatecrashed Style’s Sustainability Present

The ultra-fast style firm launched a $50 million fund to deal with waste on the business’s annual sustainability gathering in Copenhagen this week. Many noticed it as greenwashing, however it’s straight out of style’s sustainability playbook.