TV denounces that Shein pays less than 20 cents a piece

A reporter pretended to be participating in a selection process for Shein in the city of Guangzhou, China, and found that workers were paid around 4 cents per piece produced (Photo by JADE GAO /AFP via Getty Images)

A reporter pretended to be participating in a selection process for Shein in the city of Guangzhou, China, and found that workers were paid about 4 cents per piece produced (Photo by JADE GAO/AFP via Getty Images)

  • British broadcaster denounced exploitation in Shein factories;

  • Employees reported working hours of up to 18 hours a day, without a defined shift and with only one day off per month;

  • The report also denounced a practice by Shein called “design theft culture”.

A whistleblower report produced by British TV channel Channel 4 claims that online clothing retailer Shein is allegedly exploiting its workers and paying less than a penny per piece produced.

A reporter from the broadcaster, who pretended to be participating in a selection process for Shein in the city of Guangzhou, China, had access to two clothing supply factories. In one of them, workers were paid around 4 cents (R$ 0.20) per piece produced.

In the other unit, the base salary for employees is 4,000 yuan per month (approximately R$ 3,000) and the criterion for receiving this amount is to produce 500 pieces of clothing per day. Another detail: the payment for the first month of work is withheld by the company.

The complaint goes further. The reporter spoke to some employees, who reported working hours of up to 18 hours a day, without a defined shift and with only one day off per month. In case of an error in the production of parts, workers still lose 2/3 of their daily salary.

design theft

The report also denounced a practice by Shein called “design stealing culture”, which consists of looking for trends on social media and ordering a cheaper production of certain art.

In June, Shein was accused by artist Magdalena Mollman, known online as Maggie Stephenson, of selling unauthorized copies of her artwork. According to her, the retailer removed pieces of her works posted on Instagram between 2019 and 2021 to create paintings and paintings sold at low prices. In one of the ads, “abstract pattern wall painting without frame” appeared for just $4.

In response to Channel 4’s accusation, Shein said it was concerned. “Any non-compliance with this code is dealt with quickly and we will terminate partnerships that do not meet our standards. We request specific information from Channel 4 so that we can investigate.”

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