Accelerating Sustainable Innovation

We’re using our disruptive mindset to drive positive change in fashion and beyond by rapidly testing and scaling sustainable innovations.

Center of Innovation for Garment Manufacturing (CGIM)

Established in 2021, our 629,150 sq. ft. Center of Innovation for Garment Manufacturing is a destination for the research and development of new waste-saving and efficiency-optimizing technologies for our supplier partners. 

Through this Center, SHEIN trains and empowers our supplier community to use new production models, processes and applications derived from our on-demand business model. Around US$40 million has been allocated to R&D over the next five years to help find solutions for lean garment production. Future R&D investments in innovative production solutions for garment manufacturing will include advanced production management systems and applications such as the use of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). 

The Center offers consultation services to suppliers covering factory site selection, taking into consideration location, traffic and space, and facility design and layout, ensuring sufficient and effective allocation of space for workers, machinery and raw materials. In 2022, we conducted over 380 training sessions for our supply chain workers, covering topics including enterprise management, organizational, structure and business processes. We also educated them on quality inspection and quality assurance certifications by third parties like Intertek and SGS.

Leveraging Technology to Rescue Excess Inventory

In 2022, we established a new partnership with Queen of Raw (QoR), a climate technology company addressing the fashion industry’s waste issues with circular economy solutions. Queen of Raw’s science-based software, Materia MX, grew out of the pandemic supply chain disruptions and need for companies to better manage excess inventory. As part of our shift towards using more sustainable materials, SHEIN began sourcing deadstock fabrics with Materia MX and Queen of Raw’s operations in Asia. Through the software’s project management tools with automated workflow, we successfully launched our first deadstock products that met SHEIN’s requirements and Materia MX’s deadstock standard.

Our technology empowers SHEIN to incorporate local deadstock textiles from other brands into its on demand designs and integrate into SHEIN’s system to optimize future inventory purchases. As a result, climate and water impacts are reduced while enhancing transparency.” 

Stephanie Benedetto, Queen of Raw

reducing water usage in fabric printing process

In 2021, SHEIN partnered with NTX® and adopted NTX®’s Cooltrans® printing technology to develop an alternative denim production process: Cool Transfer Denim.

Cool Transfer Denim combines printing equipment and technical solutions developed by NTX® with SHEIN’s agile supply chain management technology to produce custom denim designs in small batches with a fraction of the water-footprint associated with conventional denim. This allows SHEIN’s suppliers to produce denim products using 70.5% less water compared to traditional denim production methods.* As of December 2023, SHEIN has saved close to 9,000 tons of water since the launch of Cool Transfer Denim.

By using an innovative high fixation ink during the Cool Transfer Denim production process, SHEIN’s suppliers are able to transfer desired designs onto denim products instantaneously, without the use of traditional denim production methods such as indigo vat-dyeing of fabric, PP spraying, bleaching, sand blasting, stone washing or enzyme washing. In addition, suppliers can also transfer colours and style accents onto denim products, all with better fabric adhesion and reduced ink fall off during garment sewing and washing compared to traditional denim production methods.

Since its development, SHEIN has integrated the Cool Transfer Denim production process into our agile supply chain, which allows denim clothing to be produced on demand. Suppliers are able to produce a variety of denim products in different colours and designs to suit the preferences of every shopper, all at affordable prices.

*As verified by Bureau Veritas in October 2023