# Is Buying From Shein Penny-Wise but Pound-Foolish?

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok or YouTube, you’ve probably come across the name Shein. This fast-fashion brand has become a global sensation, offering thousands of new products every day. With its affordable prices, Shein is giving other brands like Zara and Asos a run for their money. But while Shein may be dominating the fashion industry, it’s also facing criticism for its ethical and sustainable practices. So, is buying from Shein really worth it? Let’s take a closer look.

## The Shein Controversies

Shein has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. In an attempt to improve its image, the company flew six fashion influencers to tour its manufacturing facilities in Guangzhou. However, instead of rehabilitating its reputation, the influencers faced backlash for promoting the brand. In another controversy, three designers sued Shein for copyright infringement, claiming that the company had copied their designs to produce thousands of new items daily. These controversies have raised questions about the ethics of Shein’s business practices.

## Cost Comparison: Shein vs. Other Brands

One of the main reasons why people are drawn to Shein is its low prices. But how do these prices compare to other brands? Let’s take a look at a cost comparison between Shein and Amazon for home office items:

– L-shaped office desk: Shein – US$62.99, Amazon – US$89.99
– Plain spiral notebook: Shein – US$5.30, Amazon – US$5.19
– Swivel chair: Shein – US$68.99, Amazon – US$115.99
– Decor – Painting: Shein – US$5.60, Amazon – US$27.99
– Shipping: Shein – US$3.99 (free for orders above $29), Amazon – Varies per product
– Total: Shein – US$142.88, Amazon – US$239.16 + shipping

As you can see, Shein offers significantly lower prices compared to Amazon. Depending on the total purchase amount, Amazon can cost up to double what Shein does. When it comes to fashion goods, Shein also comes out on top. Here’s a comparison between Shein and H&M for a complete outfit:

– Plaid suit: Shein – US$15.28, H&M – US$39.99 + US$35.99
– White blouse: Shein – US$8.99, H&M – US$24.99
– Minimalist heels: Shein – US$17.40, H&M – US$27.99
– Shoulder bag: Shein – US$8.40, H&M – US$39.99
– Shipping: Shein – Free for orders over US$29, H&M – Free for orders over US$40
– Total: Shein – US$50.07, H&M – US$168.95

Again, Shein offers a significant price advantage over H&M. But what about the quality of their products?

## The Quality of Shein’s Products

Shein has long been criticized for the quality of its products. Some fashion bloggers have reported that while Shein may have decent pieces, many of their garments do not fit properly or are too thin to wear on their own. The quality is inconsistent, with some items being impressive while others fall apart quickly. Many of their products may score 4 or 5 stars in reviews, but this could be due to timing. Shein rewards customers with points for leaving reviews, which incentivizes them to leave positive reviews shortly after receiving their products. This doesn’t account for the flaws and inferior quality that may show up after prolonged use. Another issue is Shein’s return policy, which only allows returns for unworn, unwashed, undamaged items with original tags attached. This means that if a purchase falls apart after removing the tags, it cannot be returned. Shein’s business model relies on forcing customers to buy more, as their products are so cheap.

## Toxic Chemicals in Shein’s Products?

In addition to quality concerns, Shein has also faced accusations of using toxic chemicals in its products. A recent investigation by Canadian public broadcaster CBC found that Shein, along with other fashion retailers like AliExpress and Zaful, had high levels of chemicals in their clothing items. For example, a toddler’s jacket was found to contain 20 times the amount of lead deemed safe by Health Canada. Greenpeace also found that 15% of Shein products breached EU laws on hazardous chemicals. These chemicals can have serious health effects, including respiratory problems and even cancer. Considering the high cost of healthcare, it’s important to weigh the immediate cost savings against potential long-term medical expenses.

## Copying Designs and Unethical Practices

Shein has been accused of taking inspiration from or outright copying designs from smaller, independent fashion brands. By copying and slightly editing existing designs, Shein can quickly produce products to meet public demand. This practice has led to lawsuits from independent designers, who often lack the resources to fight against a giant like Shein. These copying practices raise ethical questions about Shein’s business model and the impact it has on smaller designers.

## The Stigma of Shein

Due to the controversies surrounding Shein, people who wear their products often face criticism for supporting an unethical brand. Influencers who have endorsed the brand, like Dani DMC, have faced backlash from their followers. While Shein haul videos may have millions of views, a quick scroll through the comment section reveals that not everyone is enjoying the content. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone can afford to buy from sustainable brands. Many of Shein’s customers are part of the younger generation, who may be working entry-level jobs or juggling part-time work with studies. Shein offers affordable clothes that allow them to appear more affluent and improve their career prospects.

## Shein or She-Out?

Despite the controversies and criticism, Shein continues to thrive. The company’s CEO, Chris Xu, is worth billions of dollars, and Shein’s valuation has skyrocketed to $100 billion. Ultimately, the decision to buy from Shein or not is a personal one. The cost savings may be attractive, but it’s important to consider the ethical implications and potential drawbacks, such as poor quality and the use of toxic chemicals. Only you can decide if the immediate savings are worth the long-term risks.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Shein offers incredibly low prices that are hard to beat. However, the brand’s questionable ethics, quality issues, and use of potentially toxic chemicals raise serious concerns. While Shein may be appealing for those on a tight budget, it’s important to weigh the cost savings against the potential long-term risks. Investing in sustainable brands and supporting independent designers may be a more ethical and responsible choice in the long run.

FMS take on Shein: We recommend our clients to invest in dividend funds as a strategy to build passive income. For example, if a client invests $48,000 per year for 10 years at a 6% yield, the total value of the portfolio after 10 years would be approximately $622,036. The annual passive income generated from this portfolio at a 6% yield would be around $37,322. Investing in dividend funds provides a reliable source of income without relying on questionable brands like Shein. Book a call with Ben to learn how to create passive income using dividend funds. Hundreds of our clients have already started. Some of them make $39,600 per year. [Book a call with Ben](https://calendly.com/passiveincomeguy/call-with-ben)


Benjamin Low
Benjamin Low

Benjamin is known as The Passive Income Guy. He has helped hundreds of people to build passive income. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Round Table, and Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) and Certified Private Banker (CPB).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.