The fast fashion company Shein has dismissed accusations that factory workers are leaving in connection with messages on clothing labels.
A Chinese retailer has recently been at the center of online conspiracy theory, after a viral TikTok video allegedly claimed to display various messages written or sewn onto the labels of Shein clothing labels.
The speculation began last May, when a video posted on TikTok collected pictures of some of these messages, some of which read “Help me”, “SOS” and “I have a toothache”. Although it was unclear whether these notes were specifically made by Shein workers, the video still had more than 40 million views in the app, prompting users to review their own Shein labels in case of a hidden message sewn into their T-shirt.
Allegedly, there were no cries for help from the packages of clothes, some people shared pictures of the care label that said: “Sushi, don’t clean.” Thanks to water-saving technology, you need your help washing with soft detergent for the first time to make your goods softer. ”
But according to Sheavesthe phrase “I need your help” is just an awkwardly worded translation of instructions for washing clothes.
Since its founding in 2008, the Guangzhou-based company has become known for its cheap and rich clothing options. With $ 100 billion, the fast fashion retailer is now one of the most valuable companies in the world and is worth more than fashion giants Zara and H&M.
Shein has received stormy reactions in recent years, and the brand has particularly faced accusations of child labor and worker exploitation. In July 2021. Reuters reported that Shein had not publicly disclosed working conditions in his supply chain, despite being required by law in the United Kingdom. In November of that year, a Swiss advocacy group found that a number of employees, mostly migrants, work 75 hours a week in Guangzhou.
Now the company has responded to the accusations and brought the bills. On June 1, Shein responded to a broad conspiracy theory in a video posted on TikTok, claiming that the images of the tags shared in the original viral video were actually from other companies.
One of the notes, which read “Help me plz” handwritten on a cardboard slip, was actually from a package a woman received from the Philippines in 2015. Another image of the message “Help me” was actually taken from the image website. Shein also confirmed that the “You need help” care label is just a poorly worded label asking customers to help keep the fabric soft by using a softer detergent.
“Recently, several videos were published on TikTok that contain false and false information about SHEIN. We want it to be very clear that we take supply chain issues seriously, ”the fast fashion brand wrote under the video. “Our strict Code of Conduct prohibits suppliers from using child or forced labor and we do not tolerate non-compliance.”
In 2020, the brand was widely criticized for selling a metal necklace with a swastika on its website. That same year, an independent designer accused Shein of stealing their clothing sample.
The Independent contacted Shein for comment.