Fashion and beauty e-tailer Shein is partnering with circular economy technology company Queen of Raw to utilise its technology to responsibly source excess fabric inventory from other brands and retailers to help mitigate fashion’s waste crisis.
The initiative is part of the global fashion brand’s plans to become a leader in sourcing deadstock fabric to support its commitment to full circularity by 2050 while creating a blueprint for alternative business models that leverage circularity to mitigate textile waste and reduce the use of new raw materials.
Shein will leverage Queen of Raw’s science-backed software, Materia MX, which specialises in solving supply chain’s excess inventory issues for the world’s Fortune 500 to responsibly source deadstock fabrics for its collections to reduce its need for new textile resources.
According to Queen of Raw’s impact measuring algorithms developed with the support of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT solve), diverting 1 million yards of fabrics would set Shein on the trajectory to repurpose deadstock materials to help conserve water and prevent the creation of carbon dioxide equivalents that would have been generated through conventional production methods.
Shein partners with Queen of Raw to acquire deadstock materials from going to waste
Stephanie Benedetto, chief executive of Queen of Raw, said in a statement: “We look forward to supporting one of the world’s leading retailers on its journey to transform its supply chain. Shein’s influence in the fashion industry aligns with our position as the global leader in measuring and reporting environmental impacts for excess inventory and waste streams across industries.
“Our technology empowers Shein to incorporate local deadstock textiles from other brands into its on-demand business model to optimise future inventory purchases. As a result, climate and water impacts are reduced while enhancing transparency.”
By automating Shein’s supply chain workflow through the software it will enable the verification of unused materials that meet both Shein’s sourcing requirements and Materia MX’s deadstock standard. These materials will then be made available to Shein designers to incorporate into products sold on its platform.
The Materia MX platform also allows Shein to track and report the data in line with science-based standards.
Shein states that the initiative is perfect for its on-demand business model, as it will “creatively clearing out leftover fabric inventory,” from a few hundred metres to potentially tens of thousands of metres.
Caitrin Watson, director of sustainability at Shein, added: “Partnering with Queen of Raw supports our advancement to a more circular system, starting with the design of our products. Since Shein’s business model is to create products on demand, we don’t accumulate excess fabric liability, which is one of the biggest financial and sustainability challenges for the fashion industry.
“We are poised to purchase high-quality surplus materials, helping us to reduce the environmental impact of our products and become a circular solution for other businesses.”