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In London, Shein's stock market entry is receiving harsh criticism

Even from the British Fashion Council

In London, Shein's stock market entry is receiving harsh criticism Even from the British Fashion Council

The possible stock market entry by Shein in the United Kingdom has sparked various controversies among labor rights advocates and fashion councils, who argue that allowing the fast fashion company into the London FTSE would represent a «betrayal» to workers and the environment, despite the listing potentially being valued at 50 billion pounds. According to research by Public Eye, a Swiss non-profit organization, Shein employees work over 70 hours a week; additionally, in the past year, several accusations of forced labor have emerged in the region where the brand's items are produced, in Xinjiang, China. Concerns about the treatment of the company's workers are coupled with numerous controversies about Shein's environmental impact, with reports claiming that over 10,000 new items are uploaded to the site every day. The company's stock market entry in the United Kingdom could spur significant growth for Shein in Europe, say labor rights advocates who are protesting against politicians favoring it, arguing that it goes against all the values the State should uphold. Asked to comment on the matter, Shein representatives stated: «As a private company, we do not comment on speculation.»


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Among the parties opposing Shein's stock market listing is the British Fashion Council (BFC), which includes brands like Burberry and Victoria Beckham. The BFC has expressed concern over the company's entry into the London FTSE, reported The Guardianand the Council's CEO, Caroline Rush, stated that if the listing goes ahead, the government will need to impose additional regulations on the clothing market to ensure fair competition among companies. Among the environmental and labor groups moving to stop the listing are Labour Behind the Label, a Bristol-based non-profit advocating for workers' rights in the fashion industry, and UNI Global Union, a trade union federation that unites 150 countries and represents 20 million workers. According to Mathias Bolton, head of commerce at UNI Global Union, «Shein should not be rewarded with the credibility of being listed in the City, or elsewhere, given the lack of transparency in its supply chain and the shocking reports of severe labor violations». 

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Despite the movements against Shein's listing, the company is ready to publish its plans for a stock market entry in London, although it may postpone the action to September, after the government elections. The Labour Party, which is expected to prevail, has expressed its readiness to support Shein's listing on the London FTSE to allow for greater investment and growth in the country, which compared to a few years ago is becoming a less popular choice for major company listings. Shein claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for forced labor and to have invested millions of pounds to improve supply chain governance and compliance, while the Labour Party has stated that it expects the highest regulatory standards and best business practices from any company operating in the United Kingdom.