TikTok users who once posted videos of their Shein rides have instead turned to revealing posts about the brand’s care labels. Photo/TikTok
Fast fashion giant Shein may have found fame thanks to TikTok users posting videos of their huge clothes, but things have taken a sinister turn since influencers started discovering hidden messages on the labels of care from Shein.
The popular website sells fashionable clothing, lingerie, shoes, accessories and plus-size options and its low prices kicked off the “Shein haul” trend on TikTok, where influencers film their stacks of clothes good market and try them out for subscribers.
However, a video showing cries for help printed on clothing tags, shipping labels and handwritten notes went viral in late May. Since then, countless Shein buyers have claimed to have found messages allegedly written by workers at the Shein factory.
A video revealed a Shein garment label that read, “Tumble dry, do not dry clean. Due to water-saving technology, need your help to wash with the mild detergent the first time to make softer products.
Another video shows a piece of paper that reads “help me plz” and a mailing label with “HELP ME” printed on it.
There are also images of a handwritten note in Chinese characters, with “SOS! SOS! SOS!” at the top.
A Twitter user has called for a serious investigation into Shein’s practices after the allegations surfaced on TikTok.
Another wrote: ‘It’s kinda scary’.
People began to abandon shopping, instead posting video messages to boycott the brand and discourage buying fast fashion.
Leading fashion review site Good On You gave Shein its lowest rating – “We avoid” – calling its sustainability practices “very poor”.
Meanwhile, Shein denies the TikTok allegations, calling them a “conspiracy.”
“Recently there has been some confusion over one of our product labels,” the company said.
“Our intention was to remind customers to help soften this fabric by using a fabric softener in the first wash of the garment. The fabric is digitally printed, a process that reduces water usage, as opposed to textile printing traditional water-intensive.
Recently there has been some confusion about one of our product labels, and here we want to provide an update.
original sound – SHEIN
“We also want to clarify that we have a strict code of conduct for suppliers, which prohibits them from using forced labor.”
But many still wonder about the company’s practices.
A TikToker asked, “So wouldn’t that be on all your labels?”
Another asked: “Can we see how the workers are working?
Business Insider reported that Shein’s business model relies heavily on overconsumption, with customers being rewarded with additional perks based on how much they spend.
On its website, Shein says all of its workers are paid a “living wage” and says it “strictly” follows laws prohibiting child labor.