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Shein unveils UK investment plans and launches ‘circularity fund’

Shein unveils UK investment plans and launches ‘circularity fund’

Shein has pledged to invest £211m (€250m) over the next five years in the UK and Europe, according to Reuters, as it launches a “circularity fund”.

The fast fashion giant said it had designated £42m (€50m) for “potential investments in R&D or pilot Shein production facilities in Europe or the UK,” and initiatives to help retailers and designers from the region reach more consumers via its marketplace.

It comes as the retailer revealed it will introduce a £169m (€200m) “circularity fund” which it claims will address fashion waste, as the brand continues to wait for its London IPO approval.

Speaking to the Financial Times, executive chairman Donald Tang said it planned to inject the money into start-ups and more established UK and European companies “as soon as possible”.

He added: “Our financial resources, our scale and leverage [means] we can be, and we will be, a significant guinea pig or applicator of these technology or processes.”

Investment targets for the fast fashion retailer, which faces concerns over its sustainability practices, could include early-stage businesses working on recycled materials or older businesses using new or emerging fabrics in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.

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When asked whether the circularity fund was in response to concerns over Shein’s supply chain, the executive said it was a “continuation of the efforts and journey that we have been on for quite some time”.

Tang insisted fashion waste was not a problem that could be fixed “individually” and that the issue was not “just about the money”.

Calling on others, including investors, retailers and policymakers, to join its circularity initiative, he said: “It’s too big, it needs collaborative efforts”.

Earlier this month, Shein sought out Turkish suppliers in efforts to reduce criticism over its supply chain.

The fast fashion giant is understood to be looking at using suppliers that are closer to its main markets after receiving a backlash amid its plans for a £50bn flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

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