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SHEIN named the year’s most popular fashion brand

Overtaking ZARA and Nike as the world’s most Googled clothing brand is SHEIN. Founded in 2008 and gaining serious popularity during the pandemic, it looks like the fast-fashion giant is here to stay – regardless of its poor reputation.


According to a report compiled by, SHEIN has become the world’s most popular fashion brand in 2022. It is the most Googled retailer in 113 countries – overtaking ZARA, adidas, and Nike.

Why is this problematic, you ask? Well, a recent Channel 4 documentary went undercover inside SHEIN’s workshops where garment makers were reportedly working 75-hour weeks. It revealed that the vast majority of these employees only get one or two days off per month.

Not to mention, workers are expected to produce an average of 1,000 new styles for the website every day. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be difficult to guess the company is committing serious human rights violations – especially when the average price of an item on its website is as low as £5.

This is possible because the brand pays literal pennies per hour while relying heavily on the use of cheap, unsustainable fabrics. The bitter cherry on top is that SHEIN confirmed the findings from Channel 4’s investigative documentary are correct, only hours after it was crowned the year’s most popular brand.


SHEIN was first created in 2008 and gained massive popularity during the pandemic, where most of us were looking to purchase clothing online while adhering to a tight budget.

As the brand continued to push out designer item look-alikes, partnerships with influencers and sponsored TikTok ads played a huge role in boosting the brand. Low prices, free shipping, and free returns only made shopping from SHEIN more attractive to younger generations.

Of course, these stand-out traits didn’t fly under the radar of organisations concerned with sustainability for long. If something is too good to be true, well, it probably is.

As brands like PrettyLittleThing and Missguided have in recent years, SHEIN has been spotlighted as a brand with low ethical and sustainability practices.

And despite its mission to clean up its reputation through a ‘purpose-driven’ clothing line from responsibly sourced materials, SHEIN hasn’t completely stopped generating items that  harm both people and the planet.

Polyester, nylon, and other synthetic fabrics are the Chinese retailer’s go-to for garment making. These virgin oil-based materials are known to shed microplastics while being worn and even more so when inside washing machines.

With so much negative press about SHEIN, it’s hard to imagine why the company has managed to hold onto millions of customers around the world. Whether it’s the cost-of-living crisis, an insatiable appetite for cheaply made clothing, or total apathy – it looks like SHEIN is here to stay.