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Wei Linchao

Dropship and Logistics Specialist, the founder of Bestfulfill that help you with order fulfillment from product sourcing, shipping, branding, and customized package.

Is Shein Clothes Toxic: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Shein Clothes

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A 2021 report by CBC News, Canada, concluded that 1 in every 5 of 38 samples of fast fashion products bought from AliExpress, Shein, and Zaful had concerning levels of toxins like lead, phthalates, and PFAS. 

Courtesy: CBC, Canada

So, YES:

Some —NOT ALL— Shein clothes are toxic and contaminated with lead —and other toxins— that can cause skin irritation and allergies, especially if you wear Shein clothing hauls without laundering them.

However:

As you know, nothing is ever that cut and dry. In today’s blog, I’ll share everything you need to know about Shein Clothes and what you can do to ensure safe shopping on this popular fast-fashion platform. 

What Is Shein?

Shein is a global online retail store that sells products in the fast fashion industry. 

Shein’s primary aim is to make fast fashion products accessible to everyone at affordable prices. They reduce inventory waste by only manufacturing products based on market demand. 

Shein provides a sense of fashion to its buyers by giving them what’s trending at a lower price than most stores.

Is a Shein Legitimate and Safe Shopping Platform?

Yes, Shein is legit.

Is Shein legit?

We can verify Shein’s legitimacy on the positive reviews left by real customers who have made orders and received their products. 

Although the reviews are a mix of positive and negative experiences, Shein deserves its popularity because it’s a legitimate online store where you can buy affordable and fashionable fast fashion products.

The Good and The Bad: Is Shein Legit and Safe to Shop At?

Here are some things that Shein has going for it —and against it— as a

Good

  • You can easily find name-brand clothes at a significantly lower price on Shein
  • Ordering from Shein is safe since they have a high order fulfillment rate 
  • Shein ships to over 200 countries and has fulfillment warehouses worldwide, speeding up order fulfillment and shipping times. 
  • Shein offers incentives like free shipping for orders above a certain amount, which incentivizes customers.
  • They offer new clients coupons to shop with, which can help save money.
  • With the affordable prices, dropshipping business owners can make good profits by starting a Shein-based fast fashion business
  • Shein has a well-developed, user-friendly website that enhances the shopping experience

Bad 

  • To produce fast fashion clothes at an affordable price, Shein mostly compromises on the quality 
  • Cloth sizes can sometimes be off as it’s not consistent on all items —it’s fundamental to pay attention to reviews and the sizing guides when shopping on Shein
  • Shipping can sometimes take very long, especially to areas where Shein doesn’t have a fulfillment center
  • Customer support is not dependable as they take too long to get back to clients.
  • Some fast-fashion clothing products contain chemicals that can cause allergies for some people.

Is Shein Ethical?

Shein claims to be ethical, but many people have expressed concerns over their ethics code. For example, fair fashion influencer and campaigner Venetia La Manna, “The lack of ethics is Shein’s main issue.”

Courtesy: Green matters

Moreover:

After thorough investigations, Courts in England and Australia concluded that Shein failed to follow some  anti-slavery laws. 

The lead levels on Shein clothes show a poor production standard and environment that overly exposes workers to lead poisoning, which can be fatal. All this shows how unhinged Shein management is about ethical practices.

Courtesy: Green matters

Shein also uses plastic packaging, which is not very environmentally friendly.

If you are keen on ethical or eco-friendly products, Shein might not be the best retailer for you. However, for

Is Shein Clothing Safe to Wear?

Courtesy: Sourcing Journal

Although not all clothes sold on Shein are unsafe to wear or bad for you, some can have chemicals that cause allergic reactions for some people. 

Shein has faced various allegations of selling clothes that have a high lead concentration of lead and other harmful chemicals. These harmful chemicals include phthalates, antimony, and organotins, among others. The levels are way above government recommendations which can have lasting effects on your body.

Shein has, however, promised to look into these allegations and remove any products that have issues. They went a step further to offer refunds to the affected parties.

Can I Wear Shein Clothes Without Washing Them?

Courtesy: Hubpages

It’s always advisable to wash any new clothes before wearing them. Considering Shein has had issues with high levels of toxic chemicals —like lead— on their clothes, it’s good to wash them and, as you shop, remember that affordable, fast fashion doesn’t always have the best reputation for high quality. 

Unfortunately:

The problem with washing fast fashion products from Shein is that it significantly reduces their shelf life. Shein usually uses cheap textile dyes that don’t stand the test of time. By reducing production costs, they can make cheaper clothes for you. The good thing is that the clothes are affordable and you can always get more at the price of one quality item.

Don’t wear Shein clothes without wearing them because washing dilutes the dyes and other chemicals in the clothes, reducing the chances of an allergic reaction.

7: Tips for Safe Shopping on Shein

If you must shop from Shein —perhaps because you’ve seen a fast fashion product you want— keep the following safe buying tips in mind:

#1: Start by reading reviews

Under Shein, you will find several stores that advertise their products there. Reading reviews helps you know which shops offer quality products. Through reviews, you can also see if the review images posted on Shein match the product received by other customers.

Do not just focus on 5-star reviews because, like AliExpress clothing reviews, some of these reviews can be fake. Read through all the reviews available for an item, and check the product description to see if there are overlaps between it and other customers’ reviews.

#2: Check for size and fit

After finding an ideal product or shop, check the item’s size. Shein has a size guide that can help you decide on the item to pick. They also offer models’ descriptions for easier fit comparison. 

Before looking through the measurements, ensure you have yours measured out for easier comparison, and remember that not all the clothes have the same measurements. Always compare each item individually.

When looking through Shein clothing reviews, remember that some people leave their measurements and photos of themselves in the clothing products, which can give you a better idea of how a product will fit you. 

It’s best to buy clothes that have pictures of models since they give a better idea of how pieces will look on you.

#3: Check the Fabric

However much Shein offers low-quality items, there are materials you can get away with. Heavier materials like wool and cotton have better quality than lighter materials like chiffon.

Other fabrics can easily fade when exposed to sunlight or constant washing.

#4: Get statement pieces

Remember that Shein isn’t popular for its “stellar quality” and adapt according. 

Getting a classic item like a t-shirt you wear and wash frequently will lead to faster wear and tear. Consider getting fast fashion clothes you occasionally wear to extend shelf life.

#5: Use Promo Codes and Coupons

Shein always offers new coupons that buyers can use to get massive discounts. Taking advantage of these promos and coupon codes gives you more room to add items to your cart without worrying about spending more than intended.

You can also wait until they have sales for fashion products, which happens often, and you can bag yourself a good deal.

#6: Shop with chances of delay in mind

Because most of the fast fashion products on Shein ship from China, expect delays. Relying on the shipping period estimations made can frustrate you a lot. If you need special occasion products, shop earlier to allow the item to get to you with time to spare.

Even rush shipping can get delayed, so shopping earlier is the best option. Delays may be because of order processing times.

#7: Manage your expectations

Online shopping means you don’t get to see an item before buying it. Even after going through each step carefully, you can always get something unexpected in your package. 

Remember that however good the deal is, it’s still cheap, so don’t expect something high-end. A $10 dress is still a $10 dress and is incomparable to an $80 dress in terms of quality.

Courtesy: Daily Sun

Again, remember that model pictures on product descriptions are attention-grabbing on purpose; clothing products may not look the same on you.

Conclusion

Shopping on Shein isn’t all bad. You can always get a statement piece that you can rock once in a while at an affordable price. With managed expectations, Shein can help you stock your closet with stylish, fast fashion clothing pieces without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions Shein Clothes Questions

Here are clear answers to some of Shein’s frequently asked questions:

Q1: Is Shein a Good Website?

Shein is a good retailer for anyone looking to stay fashionable at an affordable price. However, shopping from Shein can be a mixed bag.

Q2: Is Shein Clothes Toxic?

Yes, for the most part, some —not all— Shein clothes can have toxic elements like lead and chemicals from dyes; thus, wash your Shein clothing hauls before wearing. Washing dilutes these dyes and chemicals, reducing the chances of an allergic reaction.

Q3: Do Shein Clothes Have Chemicals?

Yes, some Shein fast fashion clothing products have chemicals and chemical residue. Tests have shown that the percentages of these chemicals are above the recommended levels. However, you can always test this on your items using Lead strips to be on the safer side.

Q4: Should I Purchase Shein Clothes for My Business?

This depends on what your shop stands for. Shein won’t align with your business values if your values are cruelty-free, eco-friendly products. 

Final Thought

Even though Shein has its fair share of cons and downsides, it is still one of the best retailers of affordable, fast-fashion products —for an eCommerce business or personal wear. 

To stay on the safe side as you shop on Shein, keep in mind the 7 tips we’ve discussed.

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