Jun 9, 2022
Shein commits $50 million to address textile waste
Jun 9, 2022
Shein announced on Wednesday a new partnership with Or Foundation to launch the online fashion firm's Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Fund, which focuses on supporting waste management efforts in communities deeply impacted by textile waste.
The multi-year EPR Fund agreement will see the Chinese fast-fashion company dedicate $50 million over the next five years. The fund will help advance the design and implementation of ecological and social sustainability strategies focused on clothing that has entered the global secondhand clothing trade and often leaves the secondhand trade as waste.
The move aligns with Shein's commitment to addressing global textile waste management and furthering the development of a circular economy, as well as any other EPR obligations, according to a press release.
"Shein has set an ambitious impact agenda, and we are thrilled to be partnering with The Or Foundation, the initial recipient of Shein's trailblazing fund, for the next step in our journey," Adam Whinston, global head of ESG at Shein.
"Addressing secondhand waste is an important part of the fashion ecosystem that is often overlooked. We have an opportunity to make change in this space and we look forward to working with The Or Foundation on this first of its kind effort."
As the initial grant recipient, The Or Foundation will receive $5 million annually for three years from the overall fund, and will utilize the resources to expand the foundation's Mabilgu (sisterhood) Apprenticeship Program for young women carrying bales of secondhand clothing on their heads; incubate community businesses transforming textile waste into new products; pilot fiber-to-fiber initiatives with Ghanaian textile manufacturers' and to upfit Kantamanto Market through a community-based vision to ensure that the world's largest secondhand clothing market is a safe and dignified place to work.
"We have been calling on brands to pay the bill that is due to the communities who have been managing their waste, and this is a significant step toward accountability," said Liz Ricketts, co-founder and executive director of The Or Foundation.
"What we see as truly revolutionary is Shein's acknowledgement that their clothing may be ending up here in Kantamanto, a simple fact that no other major fashion brand has been willing to state as yet."
The Or Foundation will also redistribute a portion of the initial grant to allied organizations in Ghana. Shein will work with The Or Foundation to identify additional grant recipients in other countries impacted by fashion's waste problem this year and in coming years.
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