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Hi babe, if this is your first time here - welcome to the Conscious Catch-Up: Clothes Before Bro's (and everyone's favourite) environmentally conscious, bi-weekly newsletter that spills the hottest sustainable tea from around the globe 🍵 🌎

We also give a sneaky peek from behind the scenes at Clothes Before Bros - so if you want to know the exciting stuff we're up to before everyone else, stay tuned 😉

So, without further ado, let's get into it... 👀

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The sustainable Facebook community, 'Swap Family'! 😍

It's hard to believe, but there are some GREAT bargains to be found on Facebook if you know where to look! 🤫

The Swap Family group is a community in which you can swap your preloved clothes with other members or sell and purchase new garments for under £5! 🤩

This £5 and under rule has been a LIFESAVER when it comes to thrifting on a budget 😘

Now with 10.7K members- you're bound to find your swap soulmate! 😇

Click the image below to be taken to the Swap Family group... 🎉

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Ultra-fast fashion online retailer Shein has been accused of copying designs from fellow fast-fashion high-street brand Zara... after a social media page was created dedicated to showing Zara ‘dupes’ on Shein's website!

 

Well, we have a LOT of feelings about this… none of which consist of ANY pity for Zara! 🤔

 

Why is Shein copying Zara so significant?

 

•  In summary- this demonstrates that the fast fashion industry is accelerating at SUCH a fast pace that these companies are now stealing each other's designs! 🤯

 

Why do they do this? 

 

• The pressure to pump out hundreds/thousands of new garments every day, and around 52 micro-collections each year, means they need to work FAST! 👖

 

• What better way to save time and money than stealing designs from others? (That was sarcasm, BTW) 🤑

 

• The Guardian reports that on TikTok, the hashtags #zaravsshein and #zaradupe – have had 38.3m and 39.8m views respectively! 👀

Is this the first time Shein has stolen designs?

 

• ABSOLUTELY NOT! The media should be focusing on the THOUSANDS of SMALL brands and designers that are victims of Shein theft! 😡

 

• If you want to see endless examples, just go on the hashtag #sheinstolemydesign on TikTok… it’s already had 6.4m views! 🤯

 

How do fast fashion companies avoid the legal consequences of stealing designs?

 

As Mike Flanagan, the Chief executive of Clothesource consultancy states in The Guardian:

 

'Let’s assume Shein did steal a Zara idea, by the time Zara spots it and sues, you’re looking at two years. But that design might have only sold five copies, and then disappeared within weeks. Proving something two years down the line is impossible...’ 

 

•  If big brands such as Zara can afford to take Shein to court and attempt to settle the matter legally (and are still struggling), small creators don’t stand a chance! 😭

 

• Often, victims of this theft have been left helpless and often have to rely on mass outrage from a large following in order to even be acknowledged by Shein… 👎

 

• Although Shein’s website has an email address to contact their team about trademark or copyright infringement, Daze Digital reports that designers claim the company ignored their emails- or just quietly removed the listing without Shein facing any repercussions or compensating the seller...💔

 

As if we needed another reason not to shop at Shein... they really are THE WORST! 🤢

 

Is it just Shein that copy?

 

• Although Shein's are the biggest culprit- it's not just them that are guilty of copying small designers... pretty much ALL fast fashion brands do ❌

 

• Yep- even Zara. In 2016, 12 artists came forward and accused Zara of theft... and there have been more cases of this happening since! 🙄

 

Karma's a bitch, Zara! 😘

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• In studies and interviews undertaken, it was found that Shein Workers are often working over 75 hours per week (Public Eye, 2020) ⛓️

• It was also discovered that often the employees are paid per item; and that there is neither a basic wage nor an overtime premium (Public Eye, 2020) 💔

• According to the Chief Marketing Officer of Shein, they add 700 to 1,000 new items a day on the site (Forbes, 2020) 🤢

• However, other sources state that this number is closer to between 2,000 and 10,000 (The Guardian, 2021) 😨

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It's not been the luckiest week for the Clothes Before Bros team, but at least some good things have come out of it!

• As you should have seen in the mass email we sent out earlier this week, Laura has unfortunately tested positive for Covid! 😷 (Get well soon Laura! ❤️)

• This has meant we're struggling with extra delays on a lot of your mystery boxes being sent out... but fear not, we're hoping to get them out to you in the next 2 weeks! 💕

• We set up a new customer service email so we can respond to you all more quickly (Drop us an email at contact@clothesbeforebros.co.uk!) 😘

• Laura picked up another 400 branded vintage blazers for our blazer mystery boxes... (Trust me, I've seen them, and OMG!) 😍

• We're going live on Instagram with the lovely Megan from @wingsvintage again THIS Wednesday, as last time went so well! We're so excited to show you some more bargains- and you won't want to miss the 🔥 stock Wings always have!

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You've reached the end of this week's Conscious Catch-Up! 🎉

As always, please get in touch if you have suggestions for future Conscious Catch-Ups! We love speaking with you all and building an amazing community of conscious individuals! 👸

Keep conscious, and have a great week! 💖👋