Social Media Influencers Face Backlash After Praising Shein's Working Conditions

Social Media Influencers Face Backlash After Praising Shein's Working Conditions
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

A group of social media influencers are facing backlash on the internet for appreciating working conditions at the Chinese fast fashion giant Shein's clothing factory. There are allegations of abuse and inhuman working conditions at some Shein facilities, as per earlier media reports.

This group of influencers went on a trip to the brand's factory and documented the videos praising the company for its present working conditions. It infuriated the followers and viewers of these videos who accused the influencers of picking up a false story. Netizens clapped back at influencers including Dani Carbonari, AuJené Butler, Destene Sudduth, and Marina Saavedra for their videos.

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These influencers were criticized for talking only about the "positives" at Shein and how technologically advanced the company is. The viewers were upset that only one side of the story was being told and dubbed these videos as "propaganda" by Shein to gain digital influence and promotion.

In the videos, the social media influencers spoke about the "normal" working conditions which netizens didn't agree with. In a now-deleted video uploaded on Instagram, one influencer talked about how she was expecting really bad working conditions only to find out how great they were.

She also defended Shein being a third-party contractor by saying, "To be honest, a lot of these employees are just people who are trying to make a decent living." 

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Influencer Dani Carbonari talked about how impressed she was with the working condition at the Shein facility, in another now-deleted TikTok video.

Carbonari said that she was surprised by the rumors that have been spread in the US. The influencer had talked about a healthy work schedule and how the workers had a "chill life" and were hardly "sweating."

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Cover Image Source: Pexels | Porapak Apichodilok
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Porapak Apichodilok

There have been reports about forced labor, abuses, potentially hazardous material being used in the workspace, and also violation of human rights, all of which have been denied by the company.

A brand representative of Shein told CNBC that as a global company Shein complies with with the customs and import laws of the countries in which it operates.

Pexels | Porapak Apichodilok
Pexels | Porapak Apichodilok



While the trip seemed like a healthy survey, the viewers took it as propaganda that was simply trying to push the Chinese brand's agenda. Many felt that the company was trying to take advantage of micro-influencers who would simply say yes to their agenda. The trip was reportedly part of Shein's campaign called Shein 101, a weekly series that gives people a glimpse of how they work in their facilities.

Last year, a channel in the UK released a documentary called Inside "The Shein Machine: UNTOLD" that gave viewers a complete overview of how two factories in Guangzhou work to produce clothes for the brand and exposed the bad working conditions.

Shein is valued at $100 billion and is worth more than two fashion juggernauts, H&M and Zara combined! The internet really works in the brand's favor whose target audience are tech natives.

The fashion giant successfully eliminated middlemen from their supply chain helping them reduce their overhead expenses, and increase sales. Shein also works a lot on their creative approach and keeps adapting to new trends and fashion cycles. 

The brand consistently tries to streamline its production system and keeps adding extremely trendy items at astoundingly cheap prices.


Shein's secret to cheap prices is outsourcing. Most of Shein's clothing is extremely cheap because they are majorly outsourced. There are allegations that the factories working to supply clothes to Shein exploit their workers and so they could provide at cheap costs, thereby helping Shein earn higher revenue by selling at low rates. This has been highlighted as a primary reason for Shein's low cost clothing.

By cutting corners, the brand does compromise on certain factors. According to Business Insider, workers at Shein work almost 18 hours a day and get paid a meagre 0.14 yuan per garment.


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