Shein, a popular online fashion retailer, is facing allegations of using forced labor in its supply chain in the Xinjiang Uyghur region of China. A group of U.S. lawmakers has urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the allegations of forced labor in Shein’s supply chain prior to the company’s initial public offering (IPO).

The lawmakers have cited reports linking Shein to suppliers in Xinjiang and want the company to confirm it does not use Uyghur forced labor through independent verification.

This is not the first time the company has faced allegations of human rights abuses in its supply chain, including workers being paid minimal and working long hours. The latest allegations against Shein have sparked outrage in society amid growing concerns about the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province, with several multinational corporations facing backlash for their use of alleged forced labor in the region.

Shein has not yet commented on the latest allegations.


  • 53.24% are well aware of Shein’s human rights violations.
  • Almost half of the respondents (46.11%) believe that Shein is using forced labor.
  • More than five in ten of the respondents (55.68%) have never shopped at Shein.

Real Research, an online survey app, launched a survey on allegations of forced labor in Shein’s supply chain to gauge public opinions on this.

The first survey poll asked the respondents if they were aware of forced labor in Shein’s supply chain. Results show that a majority (53.24%) are well aware, whereas 28.96% are vaguely aware, and 17.8% are unaware.

Forced Labor in Shein’s Supply Chain

Shein has faced several accusations of engaging in forced labor practices in its supply chain. In 2020, a report by a British tabloid alleged that workers in Shein’s factories in China were subjected to long hours, low wages, and poor working conditions.

The report also claimed that some workers were underage and working against their will. These allegations sparked widespread concern and led to calls for Shein to address the issue of forced labor within its operations.

Following recent allegations of forced labor in Shein’s supply chain, the company has come under scrutiny. The accusations have raised concerns about ethical sourcing and labor practices.

As shown in Figure 1, we asked the respondents if they believed that Shein is truly using forced labor in its supply chain. The survey data shows that 46.11% of the respondents believe that Shein is using forced labor, and 22.05% do not believe it. Meanwhile, 31.84% remained uncertain.

Figure 1: What respondents think about Shein’s allegations.

Next, we asked the respondents whether they had ever shopped from Shein. Most of the respondents (55.68%) had not purchased clothing from Shein, compared to 44.32% who had.

Consumer Action: Responding to Forced Labor in Shein’s Supply Chain

According to our recent survey, almost one-third of consumers (29.95%) would choose not to shop at Shein if the allegations were proven true. Another quarter of respondents (25.74%) would wait for more information before making a decision.

However, it is important to note that some consumers (20.01%) would continue to shop at Shein regardless of the accusations.

Figure 2: What actions would the respondents take if the allegations are proven to be true?

Furthermore, for those who are concerned about forced labor, stopping shopping at Shein (24.3%) could send a clear message to the company that consumers will not support unethical practices.

Read Also: Survey on LVMH, the First European Company To Surpass $500 Billion in Market Value

Multiple Companies Accused of Using Forced Labor in Manufacturing Process

According to sources, several prominent companies, including Shein, Dyson, Zara, and Uniqlo, have faced allegations of involvement in forced labor practices within their supply chains.

These accusations have raised concerns about long working hours, low wages, poor working conditions, and potential exploitation of workers in various regions, highlighting the need for greater transparency and accountability in the global fashion industry.

When we asked the respondents if they were aware of other companies’ accusations as well, the majority of 38.13% were unaware, whereas 34.01% were vaguely aware, and 27.86% were well aware.

Figure 3 shows how respondents responded when asked how much ethical considerations impact their decision to purchase things from a certain brand.

Figure 3: How much do ethical concerns matter when purchasing clothing from other brands?

Before purchasing from another clothing company, 33.83% stated ethical issues are very important to them, while 44.04% said they are somewhat important. However, 17.71% replied not much, and 4.42% stated not at all.

Lastly, the survey asked the question, “In light of the accusations against Shein, how important is it for national governments to investigate overseas labor abuses by companies operating within their borders?”

According to the results, half of the respondents (50.31%) said it is highly important and 41.11% said it was somewhat important. In contrast, 6.44% said it was somewhat unimportant and 2.14% said it was highly unimportant.


Survey TitleSurvey on Allegations of Forced Labor in Shein’s Supply Chain
DurationMay 4, 2023 – May 11, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.