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Fast-Fashion Upstarts Are Using Shein’s Own Strategies Against It

The colossal retailer pioneered a data-heavy, breakneck business model. Now a new swathe of brands are cashing in.

Garments at a Shein pop-up store in New York on Oct. 28.

Garments at a Shein pop-up store in New York on Oct. 28.

Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg

Loved by Gen Z shoppers for its ultra-cheap throwaway fashion—and held up as a pariah by sustainability experts for exactly the same reason— Shein’s impact on global consumers over the past couple of years is indisputable. 

Behind the scenes, the Chinese retailer’s influence on manufacturing has been just as seismic. Now, the breakneck supply chain pioneered by Shein is allowing a new swathe of brands to make the most of operating in the colossal retailer’s slipstream.