“These jobs come at the expense of our climate”
Sustainability influencer, Fionnuala Moran, has described the opening of a Shein office in Dublin as “deeply embarrassing”.
Last week, Minister Simon Coveney attended a promotional shoot for the global fast fashion brand and was met with what some are describing as deserved backlash.
Despite the welcome news of 30 new jobs, the prospect of a government minister appearing at something like this for a brand with a proven track record in ‘hyper-fast fashion’ hasn’t landed well online.
Shein has fast become the world’s most popular fast fashion website, but it has come with a devastating cost to the environment.
This may come as a shock to some, but this company has surpassed many long-standing global brands including Nike and Adidas.
Shein’s business model is similar to that of Amazon, with the company opening about 6,000 clothing factories in China under the one banner.
Adding anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 items of clothing to the online store each day, Shein produces a shocking number of products in what has been dubbed an incredibly unsustainable model.
Passionate about the cause, Fionnuala Moran said it’s “deeply embarrassing to be celebrating the arrival of the world’s worst example of hyper fast fashion’s overproduction with a smiley photocall.”
Fionnuala has a Masters Degree in Climate Change: Policy, Media and Society from DCU.
She added: “These jobs come at the expense of our collective climate and fly in the face of promises made to work towards a liveable future.
“My thoughts are with their workers who we witnessed in Channel 4’s UNTOLD: Inside The Shein Machine.
“Closer to home, I’d urger everyone to support EU garment workers’ current fight for a living wage by signing the Good Clothes Fair Play document.
“It takes less time to sign than it does to eye roll at the lack of joined up economic and environmental thinking gone into this big welcome to Ireland.”
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“Our government is failing us”
Sustainable living advocate, Fiona McIntyre says the opening of a Shein office in Dublin is “baffling and disgusting”.
I caught up with Fiona who feels our government “didn’t investigate this move right” and that the welcoming celebration that took place last week was “really disappointing”.
In December, Shein launched a pop-up shop in Jervis Shopping Centre that was met with equal controversy but in the end, proved to be very popular among shoppers.
Founder of ethical slow fashion brand, All Things Fiona Lily, Fiona said she’s “all for” foreign investment if it’s going to bring jobs but said the government have a responsibility to choose who sets up here in Ireland.
“I think this scenario with Shein is absolutely disgusting. Every day we’re being told about the climate crisis and told what we can do, yet our government have signed documents to have the Shein headquarters in the capital of our country.
“Even that sentence baffles me.”
“This is on another level to the pop-up shop they had a few months ago. This is our government failing us. It’s our government not investigating and looking into this brand more.
“Shein’s transparency is terrible. They aren’t able to give us information on their human rights policies, nothing.
“They’re also sourcing cotton from a part of China that has underage children working for them. That is not right.
“Our government are giving a place in our country to a company that is not transparent about stuff that’s crucial for the survival of the planet. I truly hope there’s some stop to this.”
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Why are we buying from this brand?
As consumers, we have a responsibility to ensure we buy from ethical brands that pay their workers a living wage and have appropriate working conditions so we have to take action ourselves.
There are apps and websites such as Good On You that enables us to check if a clothing brand is ticking the ethical boxes – so why aren’t we using them?
We’re living in a society where the same government introducing Carbon Taxes and eliminating car parking spaces to encourage public transport alternatives, are the ones allowing a “hyper fast fashion” brand that is destroying our planet into this country – why?