Alice McCall’s New Collaboration With Shein Is Proving As Controversial As You’d Expect

Australian fashion designer Alice McCall has announced that she’s returning to fashion via a collaboration with Shein. Here’s why her announcement was a ticket on the Hot Mess Express.

If you are currently thriving in the digital age you would already be familiar with fast-fashion conglomerate Shein. It’s one of the most unethical companies on the planet, making other fast-fashion companies like H&M and Zara look tame in comparison.

On Monday, November 13, McCall announced through a press release that she would be dropping a collaboration with the fast-fashion giant.

“Excited to be announcing my collaboration with Shein,” the designer wrote.

“I have always resonated with the idea that my designs can become attainable to a wider audience and this collaboration has enabled me to turn this vision into reality.

“One of my principles as a designer is to make garments that are keepsakes and I’ve taken this philosophy through to the pieces in this collection.”

In the press release, it is mentioned that McCall’s collaboration with Shein will include “rescued textiles sourced via SHEIN’s partnership with Queen of Raw, a global circular economy technology company whose flagship software, Materia MX, specialises in solving supply chain’s excess inventory issues for the world’s Fortune 500.”

The media release also mentioned that the collection “leverages Shein’s industry-leading on-demand production model, for ultra-small batch production and gauges market response in real-time, scaling production only if necessary”.

“We are always identifying ways to bring customers more of what they love. Alice McCall’s flirty, feminine collection, coupled with her use of preferred materials, such as rescued fabric, will hit the mark for many customers around the world,” a Shein spokesperson said.

McCall’s announcement was quickly met with an immense amount of backlash. As a result, the Aussie fashion designer limited the comments on her post.

However, some punters have took to her personal IG to share their concerns about the incoming collection.

“Wow shein deeply suck, this is actually really disappointing,” one person wrote.

“Surely you could have collaborated with a better brand. Even H&M would be better,” a second user suggested.

“What a shame this is the company you choose to collaborate with,” wrote a third.

Why Is Shein So Bad For The Environment?

As mentioned previously, the fast-fashion giant has been involved in a plethora of controversies and allegations prior to the Aus designer’s collaboration.

In an undercover investigation from Channel 4 and The i newspaper in the UK, it was alleged that Shein’s workers are subjected to sweatshop conditions. Other allegations include labour rights violations, lead being found in its clothes, stealing designs from independent artists and its contribution to climate change, the waste crisis and general environmental destruction.

Earlier this year, Shein and a bunch of influencers were embroiled in controversy after the company invited them to one of their factories for a behind-the-scenes look at its operations.

In fact, fashion industry watchdog Good On You gave Shein its lowest possible rating — with its overall rating being “we avoid”. Yikes.

(Image source: Good On You)

Alice McCall’s controversial return to business

Aussie fashionistas were left shattered earlier this year after McCall announced that she was “closing the doors” on her brand after two decades.

“It is time to close the doors, making space for a new chapter in my life I want to say thank you and acknowledge all the people that have worn, supported and loved the brand over the years,” she wrote.

In a now-deleted IG comment, the designer claimed that she “did [her] due diligence” before collaborating with the fast-fashion giant in response to the backlash.

“Ensuring my garments have been made ethically is important to me which is why I did my due diligence before entering into this partnership,” she wrote.

“I’ve travelled to China and met with the Shein team. There, I was able to visit their operations and facilities where my collection is manufactured, and they are up there with the best I have worked in my career.”

It’s a shame that she made a return to fashion via Shein. Maybe the brand should’ve stayed closed.

I mean, she did owe more than $1 million to creditors when the brand shut down.