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British Fashion Council voices concern over Shein's London IPO

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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A Shein pop-up Credits: Shein.

Voices of opposition are growing louder against the potential listing of Shein, the ultra-fast fashion giant, on the London Stock Exchange. The British Fashion Council (BFC) has joined the chorus of campaigners expressing concern over this move. Caroline Rush, the BFC's chief executive, conveyed her apprehension, stating, "At a time when global fashion leaders are rightly focused on making our sector more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable, the Government's courting of Shein to list on the London Stock Exchange, and Shein's decision to do so, is of significant concern to UK fashion designers and retailers."

Mathias Bolton, the head of commerce at UNI Global Union, echoed similar sentiments to the Guardian, asserting, "Shein shouldn't be rewarded with the credibility of being listed in the City, or anywhere else, given the lack of transparency in their supply chain and shocking reports of severe labour violations."

Furthermore, Shein's potential listing faces an additional hurdle. The company would fail to meet the minimum free float requirement of 25 percent for businesses incorporated outside the UK, thereby excluding it from the prestigious FTSE 100 index.

Concerns extend beyond the listing itself. The Sunday Times reported that Shein employs a practice of flying individually packaged orders directly from Chinese warehouses to consumers' homes, allowing the consignments to fall below the 135 percent threshold for import duty, which stands at 12 percent on clothes.

Alena Ivanova, a campaigner from Labour Behind the Label, expressed her organization's dismay upon hearing reports of Shein's imminent 50 billion pounds listing in the UK. Ivanova cited the lack of transparency about its supply chain and ethical concerns, including allegations of forced labour in the Uyghur region of China and its "cavalier approach to design appropriation," as reasons for concern, according to the Guardian.

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