With estimated global sales of over $10 billion and more app downloads than Amazon in the U.S., fast-fashion upstart Shein has become a rare example of a Chinese retailer making a worldwide name for itself. The company’s secret sauce: it uses AI to identify hot new trends, produces garments quickly (it lists 6,000 new items a day, compared with around 10,000 a year for rival Zara), and taps TikTok influencers to promote its wares. But the company is accused of copying other makers’ designs, and its suppliers have been scrutinized for alleged labor violations. In turn, Shein says it audits and enforces a “code of conduct” for all suppliers.
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