Campaigners led by French political organization Place Publique are calling for action against Shein, the ultra fast fashion giant, citing concerns over its impact on the environment and human rights.
The campaign emphasizes Shein's use of polyester, derived from processed oil and gas, as an environmental disaster. Reports indicate that synthetic clothing releases microplastic fibers into the oceans, causing contamination. With Shein introducing up to 8,000 new items daily, the campaign argues that the encouraged overconsumption contributes to climate destruction.
The campaign, which addresses the French Minister of the Economy, Mr Bruno Le Maire in a letter, is backed by a member of the European parliament (MEP), and urges for urgent regulation. Legislative and regulatory measures should combat "cultural obsolescence" by regulating advertising and marketing strategies that promote overconsumption on the streets, social networks, and media. Websites of brands that release 1000 or more new items per day should be delisted or blocked.
"If we allow this model to thrive, the fashion industry's carbon footprint, which currently accounts for 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, could skyrocket to 26 percent by 2050," says Place Publique.
Investigations by NGOs and media outlets have uncovered violations of social rights, exploitative working conditions, and the use of cotton harvested by Uyghur slaves within Shein's production system, the campaign states, the letter highlights. Shein's attempts to manipulate influencers and make misleading declarations on its website no longer conceal these issues.
Fashion's carbon footprint could skyrocket if fast fashion isn't regulated
According to Place Publique, Shein represents an industry that disregards human rights, violates social rights, and harms the environment. The recent passage of corporate duty of care legislation in the European Parliament is seen as a significant step in curbing Shein's destructive power, however Place Publique urges for immediate action to be taken at the national level in France through the establishment of a legislative and regulatory shield. It is the responsibility of executive and legislative authorities to enact measures that protect citizens, human rights, and the climate, moving beyond mere rhetoric and taking meaningful action.
The campaign aims to receive the support of 30,000 signatories. At the time of writing the campaign clocked over 24,100 signed petitions. For more information visit www.stopshein.place-publique.eu.