Shein says its new collection features inclusive sizing, responsibly sourced materials, and supports “women’s empowerment projects worldwide”. The company has teamed up with Vital Voices, an international non-profit that invests in women leaders taking on issues such as gender-based violence, the climate crisis and economic inequities. 

“We are committed to building a more responsible fashion ecosystem,” explained Adam Whinston, global head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) at Shein. “Launching Evolushein is one important step in our sustainability commitments this year, which touches on each of our key focus areas – protecting the environment, supporting communities, and empowering entrepreneurs. We invite all our partners and customers to join us in the journey.” 

The first release of Evolushein clothing, which launched on 29 April, features recycled polyester – a fibre obtained from plastic ‘waste.’ To produce the fabric, materials such as used plastic bottles are cleaned, shredded into pieces, melted down, and spun into polyester fibre. Compared to virgin polyester production, the recycled polyester process requires less source materials and reduced water and energy to manufacture.  

The company says: “Reducing waste and introducing recycled materials are key pillars of Shein’s vision of a circular economy and a sustainable future for accessible fashion. EvoluShein will serve as a testing ground for new purpose-driven innovations that Shein will be adopting throughout its greater collection.” 

Evolushein’s recycled polyester pieces and packaging have been produced exclusively with suppliers certified by the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), explains Shein, and this certification is said to support the traceability of recycled materials through all stages of the supply chain and sets strict social and environmental requirements.

The GRS is managed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit, with aims to lead the apparel industry toward a more sustainable future, and with more than 700 members representing leading brands, retailers, and suppliers in the industry. 

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The initial Evolushein product line features women’s tops, dresses, and bottoms, with extended sizes launching early this summer. Shein says it plans to expand the range to more than 1,500 products by the end of September 2022, with future Evolushein styles featuring additional preferred materials options, such as ‘forest-safe’ viscose, ‘consciously cultivated’ cotton, and additional certification programmes for recycled fibres. 

Click here to read Just Style’s exclusive feature on how the Chinese fashion retailer is taking the world by storm.