SHEIN launches €200 Million Circularity Fund in the UK and the EU and commits to investing €50 million in broader ESG efforts

  • SHEIN will invest in initiatives to empower British and European brands, designers, and artisans to grow their businesses online and beyond.
  • The flagship Circularity Fund will invest in start-ups and other businesses across the UK and EU engaged in advancing circularity solutions.

SHEIN, a global online fashion and lifestyle retailer, today announced a commitment to invest €250 million in the UK and EU over the next five years. Reflecting its goal of creating a future-ready fashion industry, SHEIN’s investment will include the creation of a Circularity Fund, along with operational and commercial investments aimed at further enhancing SHEIN’s circularity efforts and supporting the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK and Europe. 

Launch of Circularity Fund

The flagship initiative of the investment programmme will be the Circularity Fund, to which SHEIN will provide the launch capitalisation of €200 million. Building on SHEIN’s existing programs to advance R&D and innovation in circularity for the fashion industry, the Fund will support start-ups and businesses throughout Europe and the UK that are developing next-generation technologies and solutions by:

  • Investing in early-stage start-ups working on textile-to-textile recycled materials innovation and related areas. 
  • Entering into offtake agreements or other commercial partnerships with more mature start-ups with existing production capacity in textile-to-textile recycled materials or new and emerging preferred fibres.

SHEIN will be the cornerstone investor of the Circularity Fund and is inviting businesses, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds globally to co-invest in the Fund.

Donald Tang, SHEIN’s Executive Chairman, said: “As a global leader in our sector, SHEIN has both a responsibility and an opportunity to accelerate innovations that can address the environmental footprint of the fashion industry.  The Circularity Fund will build on our support for entrepreneurs and businesses at the forefront of innovation in circular initiatives, with a focus on supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in the UK and the EU, where some of the most exciting work in this space is taking place. In addition to funding early-stage startups exploring new technologies, we also intend to invest in more mature start-ups in this space that have commercialised their innovations and are ready to scale up. Given SHEIN’s scale and reach, SHEIN can become a catalyst for the widespread adoption of these solutions across the industry.”

Deepening SHEIN’s Support for the Next Generation of Sustainability Solutions

The launch of the Circularity Fund extends SHEIN’s existing partnerships with innovative companies working on circular solutions within the fashion industry, in line with the company’s evoluSHEIN Roadmap, a comprehensive strategy that guides SHEIN’s sustainability efforts. Those efforts include:

  • Partnering with Queen of Raw to source surplus or “deadstock” fabric from other brands. These rescued materials, which were destined for landfills or incinerators, are now used to make new SHEIN garments. In 2023, SHEIN integrated Queen of Raw’s proprietary Materia MX software into SHEIN’s sourcing system, enhancing the flow of materials data between platforms.
  • Increasing the adoption of cool transfer denim printing technology among SHEIN suppliers. This technology, which uses innovative high-fixation ink in place of conventional indigo dyes uses significantly less water than traditional denim washing methods.
  • A multi-year research partnership with Academic institutions studying how to achieve commercially scalable production of recycled polyester fibres through chemical recycling: The research partnership was launched in 2023 and has since successfully produced experimental recycled polyester material.

Empowering Designers, Brands and Artisans Across the EU and UK

The remaining €50 million of the initial €250 Million commitment is earmarked for initiatives to support brands, designers, and artisans across the UK and the EU to grow online businesses with SHEIN’s marketplace services, as well as potential investments in R&D or pilot SHEIN production facilities in Europe or the UK.

This will include:

  • Funding to bring more UK and European artists and designers into the SHEIN X designer incubator program, SHEIN’s initiative to enable talented up-and-coming designers to commercialize their designs by partnering with SHEIN on manufacturing, marketing, and logistics.
  • Creating a dedicated initiative to help UK and European businesses onboard onto SHEIN’s Marketplace platform, empowering them to tap into SHEIN’s global customer base.

Said Mr. Tang: “All across Europe and the UK we have identified a rich and diverse pool of designers, brands, and craftspeople who we know can reach a much wider audience on our platform and who we are confident can successfully scale up their businesses with SHEIN”.