We are committed to using materials with a lower environmental impact and preferred performance properties that meet high quality and safety standards to protect both people and the planet.
Product Quality & Safety
We have defined strict product quality and safety standards. These require durability and chemical testing from our textile suppliers. Our compliance testing protocols include a quality-check process where products are examined right at the warehouse – including testing for durability factors like tear-strength, pilling, and color fastness.
Chemicals and Product Safety
We are careful when it comes to chemicals. SHEIN has developed a Restricted Substances List (RSL) in reference to the International RSL Management (AFIRM) Working Group for Apparel and Footwear, REACH, POPs, and other relevant national and regional regulations. All suppliers of raw material, semi-finished and finished products are required to agree to and comply with the requirements of the SHEIN Restricted Chemical Substances List. Fabric suppliers are required to submit up-to-date test results that demonstrate compliance with our RSL. We also develop proactive control plans and arrange relevant testing activities in partnership with our suppliers.
Preferred Material Sourcing
Part of our decarbonization strategy is to use lower-impact materials. This means transitioning from virgin polyester to recycled polyester and utilizing other preferred materials such as forest-safe, man-made cellulosic fibers. It also means using as little new material as possible through small-batch, on-demand production processes and utilizing rescued deadstock fabrics from other brands that otherwise would have gone to waste.
Polyester: Polyester accounts for 64% of our fiber portfolio. The transition to recycled polyester (rPET) is an important initiative for our decarbonization roadmap and circularity commitments. Recycled polyester can often achieve the same performance as virgin polyester with up to 70% lower GHG emissions footprint, according to Textile Exchange. It is commonly produced from recycled waste plastics such as drink bottles and synthetic fabric scraps, which also reduces virgin petroleum consumption.
Viscose: We believe that man-made cellulosic materials have great potential as a preferred fiber. In 2022, we became CanopyStyle signatories, committing to transition 60% of our directly sourced man-made cellulosic fibers (viscose, rayon, acetate, etc.) to Canopy-approved suppliers by the end of 2023. We also accelerate Next Generation fiber solutions and promote forest conservation. With Canopy’s guidance we are working quickly toward this goal.
Cotton: SHEIN has a robust cotton traceability program to reinforce our cotton supply chain due diligence and identify opportunities to increase preferred fiber sourcing. SHEIN maintains strict chain of custody documentation for its SHEIN-branded products and has developed a proprietary Traceability Management System that integrates supply chain documentation required from yarn, fabric and finished product suppliers.
SHEIN is a member of Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization that develops and oversees industry standards for preferred fibers and materials across the fashion and textile sectors. As we incorporate more responsible fibers into our products, we look to Textile Exchange for guidance on best practices for reducing the impact of raw materials.
SHEIN is committed to increasing our use of sustainable packaging alternatives. In August 2022, we began using recycled polyethylene (PE) plastic express bags for all parcels sent to European countries. These express bags, made of 50% recycled PE plastic, are produced from circular waste processes that minimize the need for raw material extraction and require less energy and water than those of virgin materials. All items from MOTF, SHEIN’s premium brand, also switched to 100% recycled PE plastic bags in August 2022 – an initiative expected to save three tons of virgin plastic per month. Packaging bags adopted by SHEIN, ROMWE and other SHEIN brands will also be gradually replaced by bags made with responsibly-sourced materials.
SHEIN’s recycled PE plastic express bags, MOTF packaging bags and evoluSHEIN packaging bags are certified to the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) in partnership with GRS-certified vendors. This globally recognized certification supports the traceability of recycled material through all stages of the supply chain and requires strict social and environmental compliance. The GRS standard is managed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit leading the apparel industry toward adopting more sustainable materials. SHEIN has also committed to eliminating paper sources coming from vital forests by 2025.
SHEIN has also joined the Canopy Pack4Good commitment to increase the use of recycled and forest-safe content in packaging.
evoluSHEIN by DESIGN
evoluSHEIN by Design is our product initiative aimed at accelerating the use of preferred materials and scaling responsible manufacturing processes. Through this program, SHEIN is testing new, sustainably focused materials, technologies and production processes, and providing a launchpad for scaling sustainable product innovation and education for our designers.
With evoluSHEIN by Design, we aim to promote responsible materials and manufacturing methods:
- We use preferred materials with a low carbon footprint, such as recycled polyester in place of virgin polyester fibers.
- We collaborate with our suppliers and organizations such as Canopy to source wood-derived materials like viscose from suppliers that do not endanger vital ancient forests.
- We find creative ways to repurpose textile surplus – from cutting scraps to rescued fabrics destined for landfill or incineration – left over by other fashion brands. We do this in order to optimize and conserve raw resources.
- We ship products in packaging containing more sustainable content, such as recycled polyester.