Sustainable materials and sourcing initiatives
- Responsible fibers. SHEIN is a member of Textile exchange, a global non-profit organization that develops and oversees industry standards for preferred fibers and materials across the fashion and textile sectors. As we incorporate more responsible fibers into our products, we look to Textile Exchange for guidance on best practices for reducing the impact of raw materials.
- Recycled polyester. We are also working with manufacturers who are certified to the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), which includes both social and environmental criteria for producers of our recycled polyester garments.
- Reclaimed deadstock. We hope to launch our first evoluSHEIN pieces made from high-quality reclaimed deadstock materials, supporting a circular economy and creating beautiful pieces from material that would have otherwise gone to waste.
- Forest-safe viscose. SHEIN joined the CanopyStyle initiative led by Canopy, a non-profit organization that helps conserve the world’s most vital forests and biodiversity. SHEIN is committed to transitioning 100% of our Man-made Cellulosic Fiber based material (viscose, rayon, lyocell, etc.) to green-shirt suppliers (according to their Hot Button Report by 2025). (Link to blog article)
- Responsible sourcing assurance. In addition to seeking certifications, transition certificates, and other chain of custody documentation, we have engaged several partners including TÜV SÜD and Oritain to help support responsible sourcing through lab-tests of our materials: recycled polyester detection testing, cotton origin testing, traceable fiber verification testing, chemical safety testing, and fabric quality testing.
Reduce absolute GHG emissions across our entire value chain by 25% by 2030
According to the United Nations, the fashion industry contributes between 2% and 8% of global carbon emissions. Managing the environmental impacts across the entire value chain has become a key focus of our work. For this reason, SHEIN has committed to reducing absolute GHG emissions across its entire value chain by 25% by 2030. Embedding science-based targets into our decarbonization efforts is a way to set impactful and realistic goals that align with a global climate agenda and hold ourselves accountable for sustainability commitments. Setting 2030 targets requires reliable data, so we have worked with industry expert Intertek to quantify and monitor our environmental impacts – not only across our own operations, but along our entire value chain. This covers all stages from sourcing, production and processing of materials, product assembly, own operations, logistics, to the disposal of our products at their end of life.
This collaboration has been instrumental in helping us to understand our impact caused by GHG emissions, and in setting appropriate GHG emission reduction targets. It allows us to track and measure our progress towards our targets and to conduct scenario analyses that feed into making fact-based decisions.
To guide our work, we have identified areas of work that minimize our impact. Here is what SHEIN is doing about it.
> To reduce our Scope 1 emissions, we will increase investments in energy-saving efforts across our business and through improved measurement techniques.
> To reduce Scope 2 emissions, we will purchase Renewable Energy Certificates from the utilities where we operate warehouses, mostly in southern China.
> To reduce our Scope 3 emissions, we’ll work closely with our supply chain and expert partners to collaborate on carbon reduction plans and to transition to renewable energy sources.
Read more here
Drive to full textile circularity by 2050
As a global fashion and lifestyle e-retailer, we have a responsibility toward achieving the vision of a fully circular textile economy by 2050. Since its founding, SHEIN has been leveraging innovation and technology to minimize textile waste. We use on-demand manufacturing technology to connect suppliers to our agile supply chain, reducing inventory waste and enabling us to deliver a variety of affordable products to customers around the world. Circularity is the logistical next step in our evolution toward zero-waste, and it has implications for transforming operations across our value chain – from raw material sourcing to waste recycling to end-of-life solutions. Our goal is to continue measuring and mitigating our own textile waste and to collaborate with other industry leaders to propel the circular textile economy forward.
Our current initiatives include:
> We are accelerating our uptake of recycled and regenerative materials in our products and packaging. SHEIN is a member of Textile Exchange, and we work toward their fiber standards for guidance on best practices regarding sustainable materials. For example, we follow the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) as we aim at accelerating our procurement of recycled poly and cotton materials.
> We have partnered with Canopy and joined their CanopyStyle and Pack4Good initiatives to source only forest-safe man-made cellulosic fibers and paper packaging products by 2025, prioritizing recycled content and exploring next-gen solutions such as materials made from agricultural residues and recycled textile scraps.
> We recently launched SHEIN Exchange, an integrated online peer-to-peer resale destination to buy and sell previously owned SHEIN products. The goal of SHEIN Exchange is to meet community demand by providing a one-stop destination for customers to become active participants in circularity and promote the benefits of purchasing pre-owned clothing over purchasing new items. The launch of SHEIN Exchange in the U.S. also supports SHEIN’s larger commitment to addressing issues around textile waste and building a future of fashion that is more circular. We believe that by driving our community of millions of U.S. customers to buy or resell preloved items on SHEIN Exchange, we can better promote mindful consumption and extend the life cycles of our items. Read more here
> We also acknowledge that there will always be textile waste that we will not be able to control. So at the Global Fashion Summit in June, we announced the launch of our Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Fund, dedicating $50 million over the next five years to support waste management efforts in communities deeply impacted by textile waste. These funds will help to remediate harms already done by the fashion industry, as well as invest in circular solutions that will prevent such harms in the future. Read more here