Shein denies alleged “dangerous chemicals” in its products

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Photo credit: Getty Images

The authorities of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, announced on Tuesday, May 28, that harmful chemicals hundreds of times above allowed limits were found in children’s products offered by the Chinese-founded online retailer Shein.

According the international media, Eight leather Shein products were recently tested by Seoul authorities, with several found to contain unacceptable levels of phthalates, a chemical used to soften plastic and make it more durable.

Alarmingly, one pair of shoes contained 428 times the permitted level of phthalates, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government this week. Three bags were also found to have chemicals well above safety limits.

A Shein spokesperson told AFP the company “takes product safety very seriously.”

The company requires its suppliers to comply with its controls and standards, and works with international third-party testing agencies to ensure compliance with product safety standards, it said.

“Upon learning of any claim against our products, we immediately remove the product(s) from our site as a matter of caution whilst conducting our investigations,” it said, adding it takes appropriate follow-up action “if non-compliance is verified.”

Due to its rapid expansion, the company’s safety standards and business practices have come under closer scrutiny, particularly in the European Union and South Korea, where Seoul officials have been conducting weekly inspections.

Gherzi Textil Organisation partner Robert P. Antoshak told Just Style exclusively: “This is nothing new, unfortunately.”

He continued: “The disturbing announcement from South Korea about tainted clothing is another example of Shein disregarding manufacturing norms and its customers’ health.”

Antoshak highlighted that similar claims have been made about Shein products sold in Canada, Europe and the US over the past few years. He believes it “underscores the widespread use of dangerous chemicals and additives in many of Shein’s products”.

However, Shein denies the allegations and maintains it is dedicated to safety testing and selling “reliable products”.


Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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