- Fast-fashion retailer Shein launched a recommerce platform in its app.
- Shein Exchange is at launch available only to customers in the U.S., but plans to launch globally next year.
- The retailer is working to appear more sustainable amid concerns about its practices and the fast-fashion industry.
Shein this week launched Shein Exchange, a peer-to-peer recommerce platform that will allow its customers to sell pre-worn Shein clothing to other shoppers.
The fast-fashion retailer said that it created the resale platform because of demand from its consumers who wanted an easier way to re-sell their clothing without having to pay fees associated with other resale platforms, according to a release. Shein Exchange is available to consumers through the retailer’s existing mobile app.
To create Shein Exchange, the retailer partnered with Treet, a service provider that helps brands launch their own recommerce platforms. Shein consumers can access their order histories to create listings for the pre-worn clothing items that they want to sell on the marketplace.
Adam Whinston, the global head of Shein’s environmental, social and governance efforts, said in the release the effort was part of the fast-fashion retailer’s goals to build an equitable future of fashion while reducing textile waste.
"The goal of Shein Exchange is to make resale just as easy and convenient as buying something brand new, while also igniting a cultural movement of circularity within our own Shein community,” Whinston said in the release. “We're calling on our community to mobilize and keep previously owned clothing in circulation for as long as possible. By harnessing the reach and the influence of our growing community, we believe that shopping resale can become the new normal in our industry."
At launch, Shein Exchange is available only to U.S. customers a, though the retailer said it plans to roll the service out in other global markets in 2023, according to the release.
The China-based retailer has worked to beef up its sustainability efforts as it and the fast-fashion industry faces criticism for creating textile waste. The World Bank in 2019 said that around 100 billion of new garments were produced annually — double the amount produced each year in 2000. Around 87% of all textiles used for clothing ends up incinerated or put in a landfill, according to the report.
Shein earlier this year pledged $15 million during the next three years to a charity that supports workers at Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana, the largest secondhand clothing market in the world, The Guardian reported.
The retailer is reportedly looking to IPO as early as 2024, according to a report from Bloomberg, and its efforts to address concerns about textile waste are likely part of its effort to clean up its image ahead of it. The retailer had at least $16 billion in sales last year and has a valuation of around $100 billion, Bloomberg reported.