Why is the online store “Shein” accused of plagiarism? Shein is a fast fashion and e-commerce platform. However, for some time now, it has been facing lawsuits for plagiarism. In fact, The Wall Street Journal has investigated the situation and found that this Chinese giant already is facing more than 50 lawsuits for copyright infringement.
It is no secret to anyone that millions of young people have popularized this fashion giant. Today, Shein has been valued at over $100 billion, and it’s all thanks to its wide variety of product offerings and cheap prices. However, not everything is rosy. In this post, we will explain why Shein has been accused of plagiarism, specifically in the United States.
Who are the Shein plaintiffs?
Shein has not only been involved in problems due to its methods of production, which have been connected to environmental pollution and the exploitation of its workers. In the last three years, more than 50 lawsuits have been filed against the brand.
The lawsuits have not only been from relatively unknown designers, who claim that Shein has copied many of their creations. Large corporations such as Zara, Stussy, and Oakley are also part of the brands that have made plagiarism claims. In fact, many of the brands claim that Shein sells products with their logos.
In Zara’s case, social media, such as TikTok, has been used to show the similarities between a Zara garment and a Shein garment. In this way, they expose the blatant plagiarism of their competitor. Other brands such as Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, and Dr. Martens have joined these accusations. Likewise, on many occasions, genuine and plagiarized items are indistinguishable.
Faced with this situation, the Chinese company has released a statement that assures its intention to not infringe on anyone’s intellectual property, since that is not its business model.
Reasons why Shein is accused of plagiarism
Three very obvious reasons have caused Shein to be accused of plagiarism:
They make replicas
The online textile giant sells at very low prices in more than 150 countries.
Once Shein realizes that an item of clothing from a brand is popular with celebrities and influencers, they do the following.
They begin the manufacture of a replica of that much-desired item of clothing, but at a lower price.
Then, the brand proceeds to launch it through its digital catalogue.
It copies the designs of its rival Zara
Although Shein has plagiarized many clothing designs and brands, Zara has become known as one of its top rivals.
As we have already mentioned, social media has publicized the comparison of several garments from both companies.
In fact, one of the most striking comparisons has to do with a pink satin dress from Zara, which Shein has copied.
Also, a pastel pink and orange Zara shirt was shown in the publication of a video with more than 40 million views. Apparently, an identical one can be found on Shein for a very low price.
Reduced delivery time
Fashion insiders have made it known that Shein is part of the ultra-fast fashion industry.
Brands like Shein focus on replicating the fashion they see elsewhere and then move on to the next trend quickly.
As a consequence, these low-effort, copied designs allow for a reduced delivery time.
The question is: how can this brand achieve such fast and cheap production? It´s known that it has several supply chains around the world, as that´s the only way to keep costs down. However, it is not known precisely where all those places are.
Shein disappoints Barcelona
Shein began its expansion in Spain to reinforce its presence in the country. In the same way, it works to surpass its competitor “Inditex.” However, the large number of complaints that other firms have accumulated for plagiarism to date is reason enough for the Spanish population to be disappointed in Shein.
The Asian giant opened a store in Madrid, which was very successful. Customers, especially women, formed long queues to buy a wide variety of products at low cost. However, the new store opened by Shein a few days ago has not had the expected impact.
Is Shein bad? For many years, Shein has been accused of plagiarism within the United States. One of the brands that have been most affected is Zara. However, every day more brands are added to the list of those that have had their designs plagiarized. Now, in addition to looking at the designs of other fashion brands, Shein has another strategy. It has started an aggressive campaign to reduce prices, which has meant that other brands have had to make their own discounts to be able to compete
Do you think Shein is reliable?
Fashion insiders have revealed why Shein is being accused of plagiarism.
Zara is one of the brands most affected by this type of infraction and has given proof of this on social media.
It only remains to be seen what will happen in the future of Shein’s e-commerce store.
Brands have had to strengthen their marketing strategy to overcome Shein’s success in selling cheap clothes and promoting fast fashion.
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