Transparency is the visibility and accessibility of information about a company, especially relating to business practices. It is important for companies to be transparent with their audience to gain trust from consumers and build their brand on the foundation of being open about the way things operate. Shein is a fast-fashion company founded by Chris Xu and the company does not have open transparency because of the lack of information regarding their labor practices and environmental impacts of their production methods.
Fast fashion companies take design elements from top house brands and reproduce them quickly and cheaply. This makes it easy for consumers to shop on-trend clothing quickly and for a low cost. The environmental impact of fast fashion companies like Shein is huge. The use of cheap, toxic textile dyes makes the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture. However, on the Shein website, they claim to be turning to sustainable practices to help the planet which is untrue and lacks transparency. Their practices in no way help the environment, only hurt it by contributing to global warming and creating massive textile waste due to the cheap material Sheinâ€™s clothes are made out of.
Additionally, Shein lacks transparency due to the lack of information regarding wages, hours, and working conditions. There is no evidence that Shein is actively engaging in child labor, but there is also no evidence that they are not. They have yet to disclose any information about their working conditions and supply chain to the government which they are required to do by law. The companyâ€™s ultra-low prices and lack of transparency have caused organizations like the Worker Rights Consortium and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre to question Sheinâ€™s business practices and investigate the brand. Although Shein provides a Code of Conduct on their website, there is no proof that the company is keeping in line with it. Everything listed is great business practices to have, but with the lack of information Shein is willing to provide, it raises skepticism as to why they are not disclosing this information. If there was nothing to hide, Shein would be open to providing all the information they are required to by law. However, the lack of transparency leads the public and the government to believe that their business practices are unethical and that is why they are not being transparent.