Do Shein Clothing Tags Contain Cries for Help?

By July 6, 2022 Business, Society

We came across this post on Twitter:

According to the tweet, clothing labels from Shein, a Chinese online fast fashion retailer
contain cries for help from factory workers. The tag in question contains the message: “Do not dry clean due the water saving technology, need your help washing with the soft detergent at the first time to make the goods softer” — which appears to be a poor translation of cleaning instructions for the garment, but which the post is characterizing as a secret hidden message from Shein employees forced to work for the company against their will.

When we investigated the authenticity of the claim, we found that the claim of hidden messages in Shein clothing was a popular one, with a Tik Tok video about Shein clothing tags and parcels containing hidden messages having accumulated 6.8 million likes.

Fortunately, these claims have been responded to by Shein themselves, who shared a Tik Tok video on their official page denying the allegations against them. In the video, Shein claimed that the photos shown were from other companies, while the picture contained in the original tweet was simply a poorly worded label with washing instructions and nothing else.

Fact-checking website Snopes investigated the claims as well, concluding that none of the claims were linked to Shein, although it’s no secret that the fast fashion industry has been credibly accused of poor and exploitative working conditions. Based on the evidence we found however, it is false that there were Shein clothing labels found that contained hidden messages asking for help.

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