Dongguan Dongshang Garment Co., Ltd

A young girl wearing a shein romper

Shein’s Hidden Threat: The Lead Controversy in Your Wardrobe

Shein, a well-known online retailer of clothing, has come under fire and controversy in recent years because some of its products contain lead.

Shein clothing’s possible toxicity has been the subject of debates and worries. Even though Shein hasn’t been confirmed to be toxic, reports and investigations have found that some of their products contain hazardous amounts of chemicals and other possibly harmful compounds.

Shein Clothing Toxic: Is it true?

Several investigations and studies have revealed that some items sold by Shein contain high levels of lead, this is the main reason to think shein clothes toxic. In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted tests on various garments from different retailers and found that a significant number of Shein’s clothing items contained lead above the legal limit. Lead was detected in the fabric, sequins, zippers, buttons, and other components of the children’s products.

The presence of elevated levels of chemicals and lead in Shein’s products raises concerns because it poses serious health problems and a risk to both consumers and the environment. In response to these findings, Shein faced backlash from consumers, environmental organizations, and regulatory bodies. Many called for stricter regulations and product testing to ensure the safety of clothing and accessories. Shein, on its part, claimed to take the issue seriously and stated that they conduct regular lab testing to ensure compliance with relevant safety standards.

However, it is essential to note that Shein is not the only retailer that has faced lead contamination issues from chemical use in its products. The fashion industry as a whole has been under scrutiny for the presence of harmful chemicals in clothing items. Regulatory bodies, such as the EPA, have been working to establish and enforce guidelines to minimize the levels of lead and other toxic substances in consumer products.

What is lead?

Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can have detrimental health effects, especially when ingested or inhaled. When it comes to clothing, the concern is the increased risk that lead can be absorbed through the skin or transferred to the mouth through hand-to-mouth contact.

Lead exposure can have serious health effects, especially on children and pregnant women. It can lead to developmental issues, neurological damage, birth defects, organ damage, and other long-term serious health conditions and problems.

Why does Shein’s clothing contain lead?

It’s crucial to remember that not all Shein clothing and products necessarily include lead, as the precise causes of lead being present in various Shein clothing items may differ. However, there are a number of possible causes for the presence of lead in clothing, including:

  1. Lead can be found in the materials and components used to make garments during the manufacturing process. The cloth itself, as well as other components like zippers, buttons, sequins, and dyes, are included in this. Because the fast fashion industry launches a lot of styles every day, it is reported that Shein launches an average of 200 fast new products every day. So many styles require so many suppliers of clothing fabrics, it is difficult to test each supplier’s products for chemical substances.
  2. The fashion industry has come under fire for a lack of stringent standards and control surrounding the inclusion of harmful materials in apparel. Manufacturers occasionally put cost and manufacturing efficiency ahead of safety requirements. Lead contamination in clothing can result from inadequate regulation enforcement or oversight.
  3. Global supply chains: Shein is only one of several garment companies that get their goods from nations with differing production standards and laws. Lead and other toxic material safety laws may be laxly or ineffectively implemented in some areas.
  4. Lack of quality control: To ensure that their products are devoid of dangerous materials, clothing manufacturers may not have strong quality control procedures in place. This might result in garments containing harmful compounds like lead unintentionally.

It is crucial to remember that manufacturers, like Shein, are obligated to make sure that their products are secure for customers. However, it is challenging to totally eradicate the risk of lead contamination in clothing due to the complexity of global supply chains, disparate standards, and difficulties in monitoring every stage of manufacture.

Consumer education and the demand for safer products are essential in addressing this problem. Additionally, regulatory bodies and organizations keep working to create and enforce more substantial product safety standards, such as caps on the amount of lead and other dangerous materials in garments.

Is Shein Safe And Legal?

Shein is a well-known online retailer of quick fashion that is permitted to do business in several nations. However, there are concerns and disagreements over the safety of Shein products.

Shein has come under fire for product safety issues, including the discovery of potentially dangerous materials like lead in some of their garments.

It’s vital to keep in mind that Shein is not the only retailer to face accusations of selling items with excessive lead levels. The fashion industry as a whole has come under fire for the excessive amounts of hazardous materials used in apparel. To address these challenges, regulatory organizations, and consumer protection organizations are always working to create and enforce safety standards.

Shein’s legality as a company largely rests on how well it complies with local laws and rules in the nations where it conducts business. They have done business successfully in many different nations all around the world. It is important to note that regional regulatory standards can differ, thus something that may be acceptable in one nation may not necessarily pass muster in another.

Although questions have been raised concerning the safety of Shein’s products, it’s crucial to remember that many people have bought and worn Shein products without having any problems. To emphasize your personal safety as well as your long-term health and well-being, it is always advisable to use caution, be informed, and make deliberate purchase decisions.

Fashion’s Toxic Footprint: Uncovering the Harmful Chemicals in Your Attire

The fashion industry has been increasingly scrutinized for its impact on the environment and its harmful effects on human health. From the production of raw materials to the manufacturing processes and the disposal of clothing, various harmful and hazardous chemicals are associated with the fashion industry’s footprint. Here are some key points to consider regarding the presence of toxic and hazardous chemicals used in clothing:

Synthetic Fabrics: Many synthetic fabrics commonly used in clothing, such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic, are derived from petrochemicals. These materials can release harmful substances during their production, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic chemicals.

Dyes and Colorants: The dyeing and coloring processes used in the fashion industry often involve the use of toxic chemicals. These include azo dyes, formaldehyde, heavy metals (including lead), and phthalates. These substances can be harmful to workers in textile factories, as well as to consumers who come into contact with the finished garments.

Chemical Finishes: Clothing items often undergo chemical treatments to achieve desired characteristics, such as wrinkle resistance, stain resistance, or flame retardancy. These treatments may involve the use of harsh chemicals like perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), formaldehyde, and other toxic substances.

Pesticide Residues: The cultivation of natural fibers like cotton often involves the use of pesticides. Residues of these chemicals can remain in the fibers and end up in the finished garments. Exposure to pesticide residues can pose risks to both workers and consumers.

Microplastics: Synthetic fibers shed tiny microplastic particles when washed, contributing to plastic pollution in the environment. These microplastics can enter water bodies and harm aquatic ecosystems.

As a consumer, you can make more informed choices by considering sustainable and ethical fashion brands that prioritize transparency and responsible manufacturing practices. Look for certifications or labels indicating safer materials and production methods. Additionally, taking care of your clothing, such as washing them in an eco-friendly manner and extending their lifespan, can help reduce the environmental impact.

Common Toxic Substances in Clothing


Used in clothing to prevent wrinkles and as a preservative, formaldehyde can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, and has been classified as a human carcinogen.


Often used in synthetic fabrics and PVC coatings, phthalates are known endocrine disruptors that can affect human body, hormonal balance and reproductive health.

Azo dyes

These synthetic colorants may contain harmful aromatic amines that can be absorbed through the skin and have been associated with cancer.

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

Found in waterproof and stain-resistant clothing, PFCs can be toxic to humans and the environment. They have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues, liver damage, and immune system disruption.

Flame retardants

Commonly used in children’s clothing and sleepwear, flame retardants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been associated with developmental delays, hormone disruption, and neurotoxicity.

Heavy metals

Some clothing items may contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which can pose serious health risks, especially if they come into contact with the skin.

Chlorine bleach

Used to whiten or disinfect clothing, chlorine bleach can release toxic fumes and may cause skin and respiratory irritation.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

These are chemicals found in some clothing, including adhesives and synthetic materials, which can contribute to indoor air pollution and have adverse health effects when inhaled.

Organophosphate flame retardants

Found in some synthetic fabrics, these flame retardants can disrupt the endocrine and nervous system, and have been linked to developmental and neurological issues.

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)

Used in textile processing, NPEs can break down into harmful substances and have been shown to be toxic to aquatic life and potentially hormone-disrupting.


Pesticides can be present due to their use in the cultivation of natural fibers like cotton. Cotton is known to be a pesticide-intensive crop, and the residues of these chemicals can remain in the fibers even after harvesting. This means that clothing made from conventionally grown cotton may contain traces of pesticides.

Types of Clothing You Need to Closely Monitor

Performance Fabrics

Performance fabrics are specially engineered textiles designed to enhance the functionality and performance of clothing. They offer various benefits such as moisture-wicking, breathability, UV protection, odor control, water resistance, and temperature regulation. These fabrics are commonly used in sportswear, outdoor apparel, and activewear.

Performance fabrics have revolutionized the functionality and comfort of clothing, making them suitable for various active pursuits and outdoor activities. When choosing performance clothing, consider the specific requirements of your activities and opt for fabrics that align with your needs for moisture management, flexibility, breathability, or other desired features.

Clothing with A Chemical Smell

If you notice a chemical smell in your clothing, it could be due to various factors, including the materials used, manufacturing processes, or chemical treatments applied to the fabric.

If the chemical smell persists even after washing and airing out the clothing, it may be worth contacting the manufacturer or retailer for further assistance. They may be able to provide additional guidance or address any concerns you have about the odor.

If you encounter clothing with a strong and persistent chemical smell, it is advisable to closely monitor and address the situation promptly. By closely monitoring clothing with a chemical smell, you can take appropriate steps to address any potential health risks, ensure product quality, and promote consumer safety.

Synthetic Fabrics

Synthetic fabrics are man-made textiles that are created through chemical processes. They are engineered to have specific properties and are widely used in the fashion industry due to their durability, versatility, and affordability.

However, it is worth noting that synthetic fabrics have environmental considerations. They are derived from non-renewable resources, primarily petroleum, and their production involves energy-intensive processes. Moreover, synthetic fabrics can contribute to microplastic pollution when fibers are shed during washing.

Conventional Cotton

Conventional cotton refers to cotton that is grown using conventional agricultural practices, which often involve the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.

Closely monitoring conventional cotton is important due to several factors such as its environmental health impact, human health concerns, social implications, and transparency and accountability.

It’s important to note that while conventional cotton farming has environmental and health concerns, efforts are being made within the industry to address these issues and promote more sustainable practices. By closely monitoring conventional cotton, you can contribute to the movement towards more sustainable and responsible practices in the cotton industry. As a consumer, you can support sustainable cotton production by choosing organic or certified cotton products, seeking out brands with transparent and responsible sourcing practices, and exploring alternative fibers that have lower environmental impacts.

What We Are Doing As A Brand

Dongshang was also the garment manufacturer designated by Shein, and we are very clear about Shein’s supply chain. All fabrics and accessories of each style have designated suppliers. Because of the ultra-fast fashion style, their number of suppliers is very large, and it is difficult to check the products of all suppliers.

We have our own tmall, and we must provide quality inspection reports for each product. Over the years, we had a group of qualified suppliers whose products must provide the test report of Guangdong Testing Group. Make sure that chemicals in clothes do not affect future health and keep dangerous levels to a minimum.

We prioritize the use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials in your products. This involves sourcing materials with lower environmental footprints, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel, hemp, or other responsibly produced fibers. We foster transparency within our supply chain by mapping out our entire production process. Working closely with suppliers and manufacturers helps us ensure that they adhere to social and environmental standards. We also regularly communicate and collaborate with them to improve transparency and address any issues that may arise.

We promote waste reduction and circular economy in fast fashion brands by implementing strategies such as reducing fabric waste, utilizing recycling and upcycling methods, and designing products for longevity and recyclability. We opt for eco-friendly packaging materials, use minimal packaging, and seek out recycled and recyclable options that we explore through partnerships with organizations that specialize in textile recycling. We are trying to educate and engage our customers about fast fashion brands’ sustainability and the importance of responsible fast fashion brand choices by providing information on our website, social media platforms, and product labels to help consumers understand the sustainability attributes of our products – encouraging responsible consumption by highlighting the longevity and durability of our items.

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