Shein Outlines Ambition to be Global Leader in Rescuing Fashion Industry's Excess Inventory

Chinese fast fashion company Shein which has been widely criticised for promoting throwaway fashion, has recently been vocal about its plans to become more focused on sustainability.

In its latest move towards that objective the global e-retailer of fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, has announced a partnership with Queen of Raw, a global circular economy technology company whose flagship software, Materia MX, specialises in solving supply chain’s excess inventory issues

The new partnership supports Shein’s ambition of becoming a leading rescuer of high-quality deadstock materials.

Through repurposing other brands’ excess inventory, the company will avoid consuming new textile resources, creating a blueprint for alternative business models that leverage circularity to mitigate textile waste and reduce the use of new raw materials.

To reach this goal, Shein is utilising Queen of Raw’s proprietary software, Materia MX, to source existing materials from brands and retailers looking to responsibly clear out their excess fabric inventory rather than have it go to waste in landfills.

“Partnering with Queen of Raw supports our advancement to a more circular system, starting with the design of our products,” said Caitrin Watson, director of sustainability at Shein.

“Since Shein’s business model is to create products on demand, we don’t accumulate excess fabric liability, which is one of the biggest financial and sustainability challenges for the fashion industry. We are poised to purchase high-quality surplus materials, helping us to reduce the environmental impact of our products and become a circular solution for other businesses.”

According to Queen of Raw’s impact measuring algorithms, developed with the support of Solve Innovation Future at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), diverting 1 million yards of fabrics from excess inventory would set Shein on the trajectory to become one of the global leaders in repurposing deadstock materials, helping conserve water and preventing the creation of carbon dioxide equivalents that would have been generated through conventional production methods.

Commenting on the partnership Stephanie Benedetto, CEO of Queen of Raw said: “We look forward to supporting one of the world’s leading retailers on its journey to transform its supply chain. Shein’s influence in the fashion industry aligns with our position as the global leader in measuring and reporting environmental impacts for excess inventory and waste streams across industries.”

“Our technology empowers Shein to incorporate local deadstock textiles from other brands into its on-demand business model to optimise future inventory purchases. As a result, climate and water impacts are reduced while enhancing transparency.”

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