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Greenpeace Finds Hazardous Chemicals in Shein Products

Lab tests found concentrations of hazardous chemicals that breach EU regulatory limits in 15 percent of products, according to a report published Tuesday.
Indonesian models wear eco fashion apparels designed by Indonesian well known designers Felicia Budi, Indita Karina, Lenny Agustin during "Detox Catwalk" organised by Greenpeace in the polluted paddy field in Rancaekek, West Java province to highlight the toxic pollution brought by clothing industry as well as the idea that 'Beautiful fashion shouldn't cost the earth'.
A Greenpeace investigation found illegal levels of hazardous chemicals in Shein products. ( Greenpeace/Hati Kecil Visuals)

Lab tests found concentrations of hazardous chemicals that breach EU regulatory limits in 15 percent of products, according to a report published Tuesday.

The findings are based on an analysis of 47 products Greenpeace bought from Shein websites across Europe and a pop-up shop in Munich and then sent to independent laboratory Bremen Environmental Institute in Germany for chemical analysis. The items included footwear and a mix of garments for adults and children.

Seven of the items were found to contain levels of dangerous chemicals like phthalates and formaldehyde that exceed European limits, while 15 contained enough to create a level of concern, the report found. At least one hazardous chemical was found in all but two of the products tested, though at lower concentrations, it said.

The illegal levels of hazardous chemicals in products on sale in Europe have potential implications for consumers, but also raise questions about exposure for workers in the ultra-fast-fashion brand’s supply chain, Greenpeace said.

Shein said it works with third-party testing agencies to ensure its suppliers meet chemical control lists and standards, which are aligned with European and American regulations. The company said it will investigate Greenpeace’s claims and has removed the products mentioned in the investigation, based on information published on the advocacy group’s social media.

Learn more:

Why Fashion Still Uses Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’

Brands from Canada Goose to Patagonia still rely on PFAS for performance attributes like waterproofing.

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