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Seemingly blocked from access to the US public markets, Shein has found a willing partner - the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 

What might about Shein might give the SEC pause? Let’s count the ways:

🌻According to Bloomberg investigation, Shein has used banned Xinjiang cotton in its products. Shein likely has lots of company in this failing as a recent report by CertainT found that 19% of shipments contained banned cotton.🏭U.K.’s Channel 4 found that Shein employees were working 75-hour shifts with very little time off. Then, Swiss watchdog Public Eye released another detailed report which accused Shein of violating Chinese labor laws.

💰The company avoids paying import duties on US shipments via the de minimus law which allows for items < $800 to enter duty free. By contrast, Gap paid $700M and H&M paid $250M in such taxes in 2022.

👗A bevy of lawsuits from brands and creators allege that Shein routinely steals IP. 

🛢️More than 2/3 of the more than 5,000 new items launched each day on Shein’s site are made from oil based polyester and nylon. Selling at an average price of around $12…most of these > 4 billion items that Shein makes annually quickly make their way to an incinerator or landfill. 

💨 Carbon emissions grew by more than 50% in the companies last filings and, most shipments to US consumers are made via air, at 40X the carbon emissions of items shipped by ocean.

Nonetheless, according to Shein’s head of communications, Shein is not a hashtag#fastfashion brand but a “hashtag#sustainable and accessible brand.”

Independent of where Shein goes public so doing will represent a boon for its investors (including venture and PE firms and the Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund) and a raw deal for global citizens who are left to pay for its environmental damage.

Shein is responsible. The rest of us are left accountable. 

Change the rules if you want different outcomes. 

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