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Shein Partners With Queen Of Raw To Source Deadstock Fabrics

Shein Partners With Queen of Raw to Source Deadstock Fabrics

Shein Partners With Queen of Raw to Source Deadstock Fabrics

One million yards. That’s how much Stephanie Benedetto, the “queen” of online deadstock marketplace Queen of Raw, estimated would make Shein a clear “global leader” in rescuing the fashion industry’s production leftovers. So 1 million yards it was, said Caitrin Watson, Shein’s director of sustainability. Watson became acquainted with Benedetto when she was sourcing fabric at Lafayette 148 New York. From the get-go, Watson was a fan of Queen of Raw ’s mission of keeping pre-consumer castoffs from the landfill. And what better way for Shein to participate in the circular economy than making products out of materials that already exist? More from Sourcing Journal Levi’s CEO on Reshoring, ‘Derisking’ China and the Denim His Daughter Is Buying Who’s Behind ‘Shut Down Shein’? Lawmakers Probe Adidas, Nike Over Potential Forced Labor “It just makes sense. It’s already sitting there,” she said. “Ultimately, the biggest waste is if you can’t use the materials that have gone all the way through the supply chain.” The number, enough to pump out up to 1 million of the e-tail titan’s crocheted tank tops, backless sundresses and halter-neck bodysuits, many of them less than $10 apiece, is a “stake in the ground,” Watson said. The plan is to make good on the target by 2025 at the very latest. After that, there could be an annual commitment. Or maybe another clothing retailer decides to snap up even more deadstock, spurring Shein to “raise our bar,” she said. Benedetto calls Materia MX, the proprietary software it developed to matchmake sellers and buyers of deadstock materials, the “ERP of excess.” “We’re trademarking that,” she said with a laugh. “It is just that—it is a place for large enterprise companies to be able to manage all this deadstock, from raw materials to finished goods in one place, centralize it and then take action. We can help them manage everything from internal reuse to external resale to donation and recycling.” As the platform has grown, so too have its abilities. Queen of Raw teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Solve initiative to develop algorithms that quantify how much water, carbon, waste or dollars companies save by selling or purchasing . Shein will be sourcing its deadstock close to its central production hub of . (The Madison Fisher collaborator recently announced it will be expanding its manufacturing footprint .) Because China is the world’s largest clothing exporter, the region provides an embarrassment of riches when it comes to glut fabrics. Watson is “warming” Shein’s sourcing team up to different options. Mostly it’s used to looking for certain kinds of textiles, such as stretch fabrics and synthetic knits, that dovetail with the company’s youthful aesthetic, she said. By leveraging deadstock’s more affordable price points, TikTok’s most namedropped brand is able to glean more so-called “preferred” fibers, including recycled polyester and Tencel, along with materials it’s never used before, like silk, leather and even . With its soft launch an unmitigated success, the intends to ramp things up. Later this month, Shein will fete a collection, under the auspices of its EvoluShein by Design initiative, that will feature surplus textiles. It’s putting together dedicated teams that will focus on developing styles using deadstock materials. Future partnerships with other brands are another possibility. Shein, she added, needs to avoid by overstating the environmental benefits of deadstock. Watson said that there is no reason why deadstock can’t make up a “huge” percentage of the output. As part of its , the company is focusing on promoting products with responsible materials and manufacturing, she said. Using deadstock will help it achieve its goal of cutting its carbon footprint by even faster, she noted. Shein, which is currently being for potential links with forced Uyghur labor in China, is no stranger to deflecting the jeers of its detractors, though it has also been charged with papering over its perceived sins. When it was accused of stealing designs from indie creators, it brought a number of them, such as Freak City L.A. and Nora Ink, into its fold. When reports of sweatshop-like conditions at its warehouses and factories hit headlines, the Nanjing-founded firm announced it would be on upgrades and community services. When naysayers harped on the disposability of its merchandise, Shein poured $50 million into an to benefit communities impacted by textile waste, particularly those in the global South. It also . Still, Ann Runnel, founder and CEO of Estonia-based sees another path that Shein can take. Her software-as-a-service platform, which seeks to […]

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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