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Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Santaluces High School

The Tribe

Shein’s Corrupt Actions Against Smaller Businesses

Melissa Eugene

Ever since COVID-19 hit, the technology usage rate has increased rapidly. People would risk their health by stepping outside of the house. Most of the time, these trips were made for shopping, such as groceries, clothes, and masks. Those were the main things people were buying which eventually ran out at stores. That is where online shopping came in. Online shopping made it ten times easier for consumers to purchase any goods they wanted, one of which is clothes. A popular clothing site that sells affordable clothing is Shein.

Shein is an online fashion retail company with cheap prices and fashionable clothes. According to Fibre2Fashion, it was founded in 2008 in Nanjing, China, by Chris Xu. Shein’s original name was “Sheinside,” but it was shortened in 2015 and started being recognized by a lot of people in 2020, causing it to gain 74.7 million users worldwide. It targets younger people, especially Gen Z and those who like fashion in particular ultimately leading them to being such a successful retail company.  Shein has various styles for anyone. From selling infant clothes to maternity clothing to teen clothing, they have it all. Not only do they have clothes, they sell house decor, bracelets, jewelry, anything you can think of—Shein has it all!

Recently, Shein was hit with a lawsuit claiming RICO, the Racketeering-Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, where fashion designers were complaining and accusing Shein of stealing their designs. Glossy says that since around the time the lawsuit was happening, fashion sales have fallen sharply. From being such a world-renowned fashion company that had sales that were booming, to being hit with this case, this could ultimately lead to the downfall of Shein. The worst part about it is that Shein has faced lawsuits in the past by independent artists because it has been engaging in copyright infringement racketeering schemes. Shein targets small businesses and artists because it is likely to go unnoticed to post their garments on their site claiming it as theirs. Even if a small designer were to speak up, no action toward Shein would occur because it’s such a big company.

An artist and a small business owner named Devin (TikTok: DevsDoodlesCo) is a victim of Shien’s acts. She designed a hoodie and Shein stole two of her designs. She made a TikTok saying how they were “profiting off her creativity.” She made a post on Instagram about one of her designs and got a lot of attention. Due to it starting to get popular, she decided to put on a sweatshirt. She made a final post letting her followers know that she had made the final piece and that she would be selling them which ended up sold out. One day, one of her followers showed her design on Shein, she contacted them through email and the next day they took it down but still left the other one up. 

Shein’s lawsuit, in my opinion, was reasonable because it isn’t fair to the people who work hard to make those designs to get their work stolen to be profited off of and not get credit. This has an impact on the small business’s sales while Shein is getting all the sales which is simply unfair. 

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About the Contributors
Daina Desty
Daina Desty, Staff Writer
I'm Daina Desty, my friends call me DD. I'm finally a Senior yay! I'm hardworking, dedicated to achieving my goals, and keeping up with my grades. I'm 5'8 and love doing makeup and dressing up and in my opinion, self-care is the best care. Things that involve cosmetology and fashion excite me. I also have a small business where I do makeup and lashes (@ddcosmestics._) Go support!!
Melissa Eugene
Melissa Eugene, Staff Writer
Hi everyone! My name is Melissa Eugene, and I am currently a Senior here at Santaluces. This is my 2nd year at The Tribe, and I am looking forward to expressing my thoughts and informing you on different topics! With everything I do, I enjoy listening to music because it just speaks to me. In the near future, I hope to become a travel registered nurse :)

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    Argelia n RodriguezDec 7, 2023 at 6:56 PM

    I work in apparel wholesale, and unfortunately, it’s true that Shein is having a significant impact on small boutiques. Many of our best-buying boutiques have either been forced to close down, or their sales have slowed down drastically. Customers find it much cheaper to order a $15 sweater from Shein instead of buying a similar product from a small business that charges around $50, and this is a big concern. Small businesses are the ones that are taking the major hit, and as vendors, our sales have also dropped considerably.