Shein will spend $15 million on ‘raising standards’ at factories after a report found labor violations

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Online shopping behemoth Shein will spend $15 million on upgrades to its suppliers’ factories, the company announced today. The news follows a British documentary report that found workers were working long hours and wages were being withheld, it said The protector.

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Shein says it found through an independent audit that workers at two factories in China were working 12.5 and 13.5-hour days — more than legally allowed by local law. While it is “significantly less than claimed in the documentary,” the e-commerce giant is giving factories until the end of the year to fix the problem, Shein says.

The company denies reports that workers’ wages have been withheld.

The $15 million will be spent over the next three to four years, according to the company, and will cover “physical improvements” to supplier factories. Shein says it will also increase the frequency of unannounced spot checks and strengthen training for factories to ensure regulatory compliance. Shein did not specify what kind of improvements would be made or how they would benefit workers in factories.

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Shein’s never-ending stream of rapid product releases and bargain prices catapulted the company to a $100 billion valuation earlier this year, though that’s probably fallen since then. The company is one of many online retailers that have taken fast fashion and accelerated it, making clothes and accessories faster and cheaper than brands like Zara or H&M. Shein puffs — unboxing and fitting videos of hundreds of dollars worth of products — are a mainstay on platforms like TikTok, despite reports of labor violations, design theft and the environmental impact of purchasing from the company.

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