Faster fashion. Shein is now worth $100bn.

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Shein, the Chinese fast fashion app beloved by Gen-Z, has reportedly raised a fresh round of investment that values the company at $100 billion. It has a grand total of zero physical stores.

The reign of Shein

That valuation makes Shein more valuable than some of the largest apparel retailers in the world. Inditex, which owns Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka and more is valued at $68bn. H&M is worth $24bn. Iconic american brand GAP is worth $5bn, one-twentieth of Shein - a company that few had even heard of just 2 years ago.

The list of apparel retailers worth more than Shein is pretty short: it's pretty much just Nike, or a few luxury fashion conglomerates if you widen your definition a bit more.

There's fast fashion, and then there's fast fashion

As we wrote back in December, Shein has taken the idea of fast fashion, sped it up and then turbo-charged it. Its supply chain doesn't commit to a million units of the same top, hoping that the focus group it asked was right that it was "cool" -- instead the company commits to tiny runs of products, ramping up production almost instantly if the sales or social media data suggests it's worth it.

The haters

A Google search for "shein stole my design" throws up loads of stories of designers having their ideas or patterns "copied" by Shein - an accusation not uncommon in the world of fast fashion. Additionally, it's not entirely clear how sustainable Shein's products are, as little remains known about the company's actual production. There were reports in December of staff working 75-hour weeks and Good On You, a site that tracks sustainability practices, gave Shein a “very poor” environmental rating.

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Faster fashion. Shein is now worth $100bn.