After Paris, Lyon, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles and Toronto, the Chinese brand Shein is opening a pop-up store in Brossard from July 27 to 30.

This Chinese “ultra-fast fashion” company, which offers more than 470,000 models of clothing online at ridiculous prices, is very controversial. Its various practices, environmental in particular, are criticized in many countries.

In a column in the Le Monde newspaper published on June 7, several personalities, including MEP Raphaël Glucksmann, activist Camille Étienne, the president of the French Federation of women’s ready-to-wear, Yann Rivoallan, and the founder of The Good Goods, Victoire Satto, write that behind the 2 euro ($3) t-shirts or the 9 euro ($13) dresses hides an operating system of rare violence.

“According to a survey by the NGO Public Eye, Shein workers – who come from the poorest provinces of China – work 12 hours a day with only one day off per month. Most often without a work contract and without insurance, they write. Ultra-low prices for the consumer therefore have a cost: this cost is paid by workers on the other side of the world, it is the energy expenditure required to produce millions of garments considered disposable, potentially toxic to health and the ecosystems in which they end up. »

A petition has also been launched to ban Shein in France, supported by Raphaël Glucksmann, who is asking the government to act. “Shein is the ultimate version of the model of overproduction and overconsumption that is driving us straight to climate disaster. We call on Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and the French government to urgently put in place a legislative and regulatory shield to protect European citizens, human rights and the climate,” writes the MEP and his colleagues in the published op-ed. in the newspaper Le Monde.

Even though Shein is criticized by human rights and environmental activists, the Chinese brand, ubiquitous on social networks, is very popular with young people who appreciate the diversity of models at very low prices. Shein offers up to 8000 new referrals per day.

According to Anne-Marie Laflamme, co-founder of atelier b and lecturer in design at Concordia University, Shein is the most radical example of fast fashion, and you have to be aware of it.

“I often say that by touching a piece of clothing, you see a bit of its history pass by,” she says. In the case of Shein, if we saw where he came from and where he went, we wouldn’t want to wear him, that’s for sure. It’s well presented, it’s well packaged, so you can’t see what’s behind it. But for smaller budgets, there are other options. A little awareness can make you think and understand what you are contributing to by buying clothes from Shein. »

Contacted to find out why we had accepted that this brand establishes itself, even temporarily, in Quartier DIX30, Nicholas Kassis, rental manager, replied by email to La Presse: “Our team was approached by the event agency of SHEIN, because Quartier DIX30 is recognized in the short-term rental market for its availability of temporary and easily accessible spaces for the entire Greater Montreal area. Each year, dozens of local and international brand pop-ups take place in these DIX30 premises. That being said, SHEIN and its event agency are fully responsible for organizing and promoting their pop-up. »