Nov 15, 2021
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Shein suppliers accused of labour law abuses

Nov 15, 2021

China’s Shein has become the latest affordable fashion retailer to come under scrutiny over claims of poor working conditions at factories it uses.


Reports that workers linked to the retailer’s suppliers are forced to endure a 75-hour working week have been levelled at the Chinese company by Swiss advocacy group Public Eye.

The report claims a number of staff across six sites in Guangzhou were found to be working extremely long hours with the group’s spokesman saying there was "enormous pressure" on staff to turn clothes around quickly, reported the BBC.

Shein said it takes supply chain issues seriously and will review the report.

Public Eye's researchers visited 17 factories supplying Shein and its parent company Zoetop, near the Shein HQ in Guangzhou. It interviewed 10 workers across six of those sites, which were solely receiving orders from Shein at the time.

They reported claims that the workers they spoke to clocked three shifts per day, often with only one day off a month.

Public Eye also suggests workers, mainly migrants, are paid per item of clothing, encouraging them to work long hours.

Although such hours aren't unusual in Chinese production hubs, the report claims it violates local labour laws, which set out a maximum working day of eight hours, as well as a 40-hour working week.

In reply, Shein said as soon as it heard of the allegations it asked for a copy of the report and will launch an investigation. It also said it has “strict supplier Code of Conduct which includes stringent health and safety policies” and is in compliance with local laws. 

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