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Shein suppliers work 75-hour weeks, report claims as Chinese fast-fashion giant looks to IPO

As fast-fashion giant Shein prepares for an IPO in the U.S., a new report suggests that workers at some of its suppliers are still clocking 75 hour weeks, despite assurances the company would tighten its labor standards. 

The report, published Tuesday, details a follow-up investigation by Swiss advocacy group Public Eye after it found in 2021 that staff members across sites in Guangzhou, China, were subject to excessive overtime and poor labor conditions. 

Following negative press in the wake of the previous report, Shein promised to improve its standards. However, a new survey by Public Eye, which polled 13 workers across six suppliers in China, has found little progress. 

"Illegal working hours and piecework wages remain a typical feature of the everyday lives of the workers interviewed," the group said. The interviews were conducted late last summer.   

In response to CNBC, Shein claimed: "We do not recognise many of the allegations in this report."

Public Eye said the respondents worked an average of six or seven days a week for 12 hours a day, not including lunch and dinner breaks — a violation of Shein's supplier code of conduct.

"I work every day from 8 in the morning to 10.30 at night and take one day off each month. I can't afford any more days off because it costs too much," Public Eye cited one worker as saying.

A Shein spokesperson told CNBC that the company was investing tens of millions of dollars in strengthening governance and compliance in its supply chain.

"[T]he discussion on working hours and wages raised by Public Eye is important to us, and we have made significant progress on enhancing conditions across our ecosystem."  

The spokesperson also noted that Public Eye's report had been based on a small sample