Minister for Climate, Eamon Ryan, has defended the opening of Chinese fast-fashion company SHEIN’s European headquarters in Dublin City.
This comes only weeks after the minister said that people in the future will be disgusted by fast fashion but has now admitted he did not know what SHEIN is ahead of the launch.
The company opened a new office in Dublin, which is set to create 30 jobs by the end of the year with a view to potentially increasing that number over time.
SHEIN has also announced that it plans to host roughly 30 pop-up stores around Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) this year, with a Cork location on Opera Lane running from May 12th until the 17th.
SHEIN’s business model is similar to that of Amazon, with the company bringing about 6,000 clothing factories in China under the one banner.
Adding anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 items of clothing to its’ online store each day, the outlet produces an astonishing number of products in what has been dubbed an unsustainable model.
The unsustainable nature of the business becomes apparent when an item becomes particularly popular on the brand’s online store.
Although adding such vast quantities of new items each day, it has been reported that only between 50-100 pieces of each item are produced – with mass production ramping up when a certain product gains popularity.
Minister Ryan told the Irish Examiner that he believed “fast fashion is one of the issues that people will in future look back on” only weeks before SHEIN arrived in Ireland.
He said: “The way we really just buy something, use it three times and then throw it out, that’s an example of that disposability.
“I think we will look back at that and think that it’s not as classy as buying something really good and wearing it a hundred times.”
When asked by The Mirror about the concern about the store opening, Ryan said he was “not fully familiar with the company”.
He said: “I was making the general point, which is true, that in that waste action plan that we are implementing and our whole green procurement, fashion is probably the most difficult.
“Someone having a new European headquarters here doesn’t impact our ability or our intention of regulating and introducing the waste management measures.
“I’m not fully aware of all the details of that company, I’m just being honest about that.”