Valued at US$1 Billion, Shein is one of the top fast-fashion retailers in the world | Source: Modern Retail

Fast-Fashion Retailer Shein Reported to be Raising US$1 Billion

Chinese fashion retailer Shein is in talks to weigh a funding round of US$1 billion, according to reports by Bloomberg made on Sunday.

The funding round would value the online retailer at a reported US$100 billion, surpassing its fast-fashion retail rivals.

According to data from Apptopia, Shein ranked second in the 10 most downloaded shopping apps in 2021 after Amazon.

Founded in 2008, Shein established its headquarters in Nanjing, China and with a data-driven approach and supplier-supported formula, has built a strong reputation for women’s apparel. Today, it ships to more than 220 countries across the globe and has become the online retailer of choice, particularly for trend pieces.

The popular fast-fashion retailer sells denim, shoes, lingerie and everything in between. According to data from Business of Apps, Shein adds an average of 2,000 new items to its store every day.

With endless sales and dresses selling for as low as A$5.13, it’s no wonder the outlet has amassed billions of consumers worldwide.

Shein has also caught the attention of the Gen Z market and runs successful marketing campaigns on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok.

Shein’s Instagram page alone boasts an incredible 23.8 million followers and regularly posts clothing hauls and collaborations with influencers. Meanwhile, on TikTok the brand curates a feed of heavily edited transition videos set to trending music. Under the #Sheinhaul, users display the trendy pieces they’ve purchased on the site, attracting 4.8 billion views on the app.

@shein_official Introducing a transition queen 👑🙌 @Meh_boulaa #SmellLikeIrishSpring #SHEINforall #SHEINhaul ♬ HAPPY STUTTER PROD SUAVÉ LEE – prod.suavelee

Despite the retailer’s mass following and soaring profits, Shein has not risen without its controversies. Self-described as a fast-fashion retailer, the brand’s production ethics have often come into question.

Despite a supply chain transparency statement on the company’s website, the retailer is not sealed by any third-party certifications, such as a Fair Trade certificate.

In terms of whether or not Shein is an ethical brand, this remains up to consumers, however, many have criticised the company’s large scale production output. Speaking to Green Matters, fair fashion campaigner Venetia La Manner, described Shein as having a “sheer lack of ethics”.

“[Shein’s] scale of output is unsustainable for our planet and its finite resources,” she said.

“There’s also zero evidence to suggest that they pay their workers fair living wages and they continue to outright steal designs from independent brands.”

Despite public criticism and poor environmental ratings, Shein’s profits and online traffic continue to climb, eclipsing numerous other retailers including Amazon, Walmart and eBay.

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