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Online fashion giant Shein jumps into online resale — but with a twist

Shein’s new resale program is available through its mobile app.

Shein has launched a resale program that puts a good deal of responsibility in the hands of customers. 

The Chinese online fast-fashion giant has launched “Shein Exchange,” a “peer-to-peer” resale program for the sale and purchase of secondhand Shein products.  The program was created in partnership with Treet, a resale technology platform that manages resale experiences for a number of fashion retailers. It is being piloted in the U.S., with plans to expand globally in 2023.

Accessed through Shein’s existing app, the Exchange feature is designed to simplify the resale process so it is easier for sellers to list their items. A seamless interface pre-populates a Shein customer's previous purchases – making list-to-sale quick and easy.

Similar to other Treet-powered programs, Shein Exchange shoppers get credits or cash back for purchases. Once an item sells, Shein sends a prepaid shipping label to the seller.

"The goal of Shein Exchange is to make resale just as easy and convenient as buying something brand new, while also igniting a cultural movement of circularity within our own Shein community,” said Adam Whinston, global head of ESG at Shein. “We're calling on our community to mobilize and keep previously owned clothing in circulation for as long as possible. By harnessing the reach and the influence of our growing community, we believe that shopping resale can become the new normal in our industry."

Shein has been steadily gaining traction in the U.S., where its trendy and low-priced fashions have developed a loyal following among teens. It solidified its No. 2 position as teens’ favorite online shopping site in Piper Sandler Companies’ semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, and also appeared on the top clothing brand list, as No. 5.  

The retailer is planning to build three distribution centers in the U.S. with the goal of reducing shipping time, and is also getting ready for an expansive hiring effort in the next several years, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The pilot version of Shein Exchange is part of the company’s larger commitment to address the ongoing issues of textile waste and build a future of fashion that is more circular. By driving its community of millions U.S. customers to buy or resell on Shein Exchange, the company said it aims to influence and promote mindful consumption among its customers, ultimately extending the life of as many items as possible.

This year, Shein also became a signatory of World Circular Textiles Day, a coalition of brands, suppliers and other organizations who share a mission to shift the fashion and textiles industry toward full circularity by 2050.

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