The infamous fast-fashion brand, Shein is in trouble, yet again. 

Popular among millennials and Gen-Z for its affordable shopping and trending styles, the brand has an enormous market spread across countries. Thanks to influencer tie-ups, cheap pricing, and quick delivery options, Shein has been able to create its presence among younger generations, especially women. 

Over the years, the retail giant has landed in trouble time and again. When it’s not due to its mass production and textile waste, it’s for poor working conditions, like low wages. Now, according to a report by Wall Street Journal, the company is facing more than four dozen lawsuits in the US, which it has been subject to over the course of three years. From design trademarks to copy infringements, on multiple occasions, Shein has settled these disputes for undisclosed amounts and at times, has blamed the third-party suppliers over the design copy infringement. 

The company has been sued over the copy of designs by illustrators, independent brands, designers and creators, along with popular brands such as, Ralph Lauren and Oakley, as per court records. Small-scale designers, too, have called the brand out for using styles, patterns and designs, without asking for permission. In fact, even Nirvana sued them for using the metal band’s artwork without permission. Earlier this year in January, they settled the lawsuit with an undisclosed amount. 

Trouble for Shein started off first in 2018, when Levi’s sued the company for duplicating its trademarked stitch pattern. Similarly, Dr Martens went for the brand for infringing IP. In June 2022, Maggie Stephenson, a freelance illustrator based in Jacksonville sued the retailer for copyright infringement, claiming that the brand stole her artworks from her Instagram page. The design was used by Shein in a wall hanging, for which Stephenson claimed USD $100 million. In March 2022, Stussy also joined the club, accusing the Chinese retailer of infringement, counterfeiting, and trademark dilution. The brand has been using the word ‘Stussy’ on multiple items such as T-shirts and footwear. Apart from brands, various indie designers from Etsy and Instagram have come forward, when their followers and fans pointed out that duplicate items were being sold on Shein’s website as original styles.  

Earlier this week, thredUp, one of the largest secondhand reselling platforms, posted push notification messages and urged its users to boycott Shein and discouraged them from shopping at the brand’s pop-up store in San Francisco. This move was taken to fight against fast-fashion wastage and set up an example for the upcoming generations. 

In 2020, Shein was among the 59 apps that were banned in India due to the rising tensions between the Indian and Chinese governments.