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中国跨境电商Shein为何风靡美国

The People’s Republic of Shein
中国跨境电商Shein为何风靡美国

PLANO, Texas — There was some desperation in the air at the indoor mall where Shein had opened a pop-up store.

德克萨斯州普莱诺——在希音(Shein)的一家快闪店所在的室内商场,能嗅到些许不顾一切的气息。

A security guard posted at the entrance said that on each of the three days the pop-up was in business, he’d turned down about 20 bribes from people looking to skip the line. Often they offered $20, he said, though some went as high as $100.

在入口处站岗的保安说,这家快闪店营业三天以来,他每天都要拒绝大约20名想插队者的贿赂。他说,他们的报价往往是20美元,不过也有人出价高达100美元。
 

顾客们早上6点就在排队,只为能在得克萨斯州普莱诺市的希音快闪店购物。

On Sunday, the last day, the first shoppers arrived at about 6 a.m. Shein was scheduled to open at noon. The line swelled throughout the morning, folding in on itself before unfurling through the food court, past the bubble tea stand and Mediterranean grill. Anyone arriving after 12:30 p.m. was advised to go home — denied the chance to buy, in person, things like $1 daisy earrings, $4 bucket hats, $12 cable-knit crop tops, $13 faux leather baguette bags and $29 neon PVC mule sandals.

周日,也就是最后一天,第一批购物者在早上6点左右到达。希音是中午开始营业。整个上午,队伍不断扩大,先是开始折转,然后穿过美食广场,经过奶茶摊和地中海烧烤架。中午12:30后到达的人都被建议回家——他们没有机会入店购买价格一美元的雏菊耳环、四美元的水桶帽、12美元的针织露脐上衣、13美元的人造革法棍包和29美元的霓虹PVC穆勒拖鞋。

“We had to take the numbers off the window,” said the guard, Don Dickerson, pointing to where a white decal displaying Saturday’s closing hour, 8 p.m., had been peeled off. Low stock had closed the store at 4 that day.

“我们只好把橱窗上的数字取下来,”门卫唐·迪克森指着一处白色贴纸被剥掉的地方说,那里原来贴着周六的关门时间是晚八点。当天库存不足,商店下午四点就关门了。

The enthusiasm was a sight to behold, considering that many shopping malls have struggled over the last decade to draw such a crowd: about 700 people waiting outside a whitewashed storefront formerly occupied by American Eagle Outfitters, sandwiched between Swarovski and Bath & Body Works. On Friday, the first day of the Shein pop-up, a man proposed to his girlfriend in front of the entrance.

这群人的热情是一个令人瞩目的景象,毕竟,许多购物中心过去十年里一直在努力吸引这样的人群:大约700人在一个被粉刷成白色的店面外等候,那里曾经是美国鹰牌服饰公司的店面,夹在施华洛世奇和Bath & Body Works之间。周五,希音快闪店开张第一天,一名男子在入口前向女友求婚。

“I was really nervous, and I wanted to surprise her,” said Nehemiah Jaime-Vega, 23. “She loves Shein.” His fiancée, Michelle Alvarado, 22, nodded. “It’s so affordable,” she said on Saturday afternoon, after her second consecutive visit to the pop-up. She wore a red ribbed-knit tube top, sold by Shein for $7; she said she places orders about twice a month.

“我真的很紧张,我想给她一个惊喜,”23岁的尼希米·杰米-维加说。“她爱希音。”他的未婚妻、22岁的米歇尔·阿尔瓦拉多点了头。“太便宜了,”周六下午,她在连续第二次光顾这家快闪店后说。她穿着一件红色罗纹针织筒形上衣,在希音的售价为七美元;她说她每个月都会有两单购买。

These pop-up stores are not how most people interact with the brand. So far, in 2022, there have been only five held across the United States, Shein’s most valuable market. But the pop-ups are part of an effort to make the Chinese fast-fashion company seem less mysterious. Shein — officially pronounced “she-in,” though often pronounced “sheen” — recently surpassed Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app in the United States, according to analysis by Sensor Tower. Shein is privately held and declined to share financial figures but was estimated by Coresight Research to bring in $10 billion in revenue in 2020.

这些快闪店并不是大多数人与该品牌互动的方式。2022年到目前为止,希音在美国这个最为宝贵的市场只举办过五次这种活动。但是,这些快闪店是为了让这家中国快时尚公司看起来不那么神秘。根据Sensor Tower的分析,Shein(官方发音为“she-in”,但人们通常读成“sheen”)——最近超过亚马逊,成为美国下载量最大的购物应用程序。希音是一家私人公司,拒绝透露财务数据,但据Coresight Research估计,该公司在2020年的收入达到100亿美元。

Yet as Shein has grown, so have questions about its practices. Shein frequently makes headlines for its controversies, like selling a $2.50 swastika necklace or copying the work of designers. (The company said it takes infringement claims seriously, requiring suppliers to certify their products don’t infringe on third-party intellectual property.)

然而,随着希音的成长,对其做法的质疑也随之而来。希音引发的争议常见于报端,比如出售价格2.5美元的纳粹十字项链或抄袭设计师的作品。(该公司表示,它认真对待侵权索赔,要求供应商证明其产品没有侵犯第三方知识产权。)

Shein has also been accused of working with suppliers that violate labor laws, and failing to make necessary disclosures about factory conditions. In response, the brand pointed to “regular internal audits” and a “strict,” legally compliant code of conduct for its suppliers. It has also contracted firms including Openview and Intertek to audit its facilities; “when violations are found, we take further action, which may include termination,” the company said.

希音还被指控与违反劳动法的供应商合作,并且没有对工厂条件进行必要的披露。作为回应,该品牌指出,它有“定期的内部审计”和“严格”符合法律的供应商行为准则。它还与Openview和Intertek等公司签订合同,对其设施进行审计;该公司表示:“一旦发现违规行为,我们将采取进一步行动,其中可能包括终止合同。”

Last year, a CBC Marketplace investigation found elevated levels of lead in some Shein products, like a toddler’s jacket and tiny purse. Shein said it regularly tests products, following international regulatory agency standards, and “violations are immediately remediated.”

去年,加拿大广播公司《市场》栏目的一项调查发现,一些希音产品的铅含量超标,包括儿童夹克和迷你钱包。希音公司表示,会按照国际监管机构的标准定期检测产品,并“立即修正不合规之处”。

All of this has contributed to Shein becoming an archetype of a certain genre of supercheap clothing companies: It is the leader of a pack of Gen Z-favored brands, like Fashion Nova and Boohoo, accused by critics (including those from Gen Z) of contributing to overconsumption and waste.

所有这一切,都让希音成为了一种特定风格的超廉价服装企业的典型:它是和Fashion Nova以及Boohoo一样的备受大批Z时代青睐的品牌佼佼者,但又被批评者(包括Z世代)指责助长了过度消费和浪费的风气。

Shein, however, called its approach to producing clothing “transformative”: It starts by ordering small batches of clothing (100 to 200 pieces) and monitors customers’ response to those batches before placing larger orders.

但希音声称其服装制作方式是“变革性的”:从小批量(100至200件)服装订购开始,在订大单之前搜集客户对各个小批量订单的反应。

Still, many of the videos on social platforms made about Shein — including the incredibly popular “haul” clips, which show people trying on their large orders, piece by piece — inspire comments raising these issues: How can a $4 top be made to last, so it doesn’t end up in a landfill? How can the workers who sewed and shipped that garment be compensated fairly?

尽管如此,社交平台上许多关于希音的视频——包括那些极受欢迎的“晒单”视频,也就是人们将自己一次性买入的大量商品逐件展示出来——都引发了评论的质疑:怎样才能保证一件四美元上衣的耐久,以免最终沦落到垃圾填埋场?缝制和运输这件衣服的工人如何能得到公正的报酬?

Yet this hasn’t deterred Shein’s devotees, many of whom feel they haven’t seen enough evidence to stop shopping with the brand.

然而,这些问题并不能阻止希音粉丝的热情,他们中的许多人认为,还没有足够的理由说服他们不再购买该品牌的产品。

Ann Taylor, a 25-year-old budding fashion influencer in Toronto who has received gift cards from the brand, sees those kinds of comments on videos “all the time,” she said. Most often, she has noticed, they raise concerns that the company is violating labor laws.

25岁的安·泰勒是多伦多一名崭露头角的时尚网红,她收到过该品牌的礼品卡,也声称自己“经常”在视频中看到类似的评论。她注意到在大多数情况下,这些人会提及对该企业违反劳动法的担忧。

This summer, viral TikTok videos purporting to show pleas for help sewn into Shein clothing by garment workers were widely debunked. But the watchdog group Public Eye, in a November 2021 report on factories that work with Shein, said its researchers interviewed three workers whose hours exceeded national legal maximums, and discovered some workshops with blocked corridors and stairways.

今年夏天,TikTok上出现了一条热门视频,展示了缝在希音衣物上的制衣工人求援的信息,该视频此后已被广泛辟谣。但监督组织公众之眼在2021年11月发布的一份关于希音合作工厂的报告指出,研究人员采访到三名工作时长超过国家法定最高工作时间的工人,并发现一些车间的过道和楼梯被堵住。

Ms. Taylor hasn’t been swayed. If there were reports the company was violating child labor laws, for example, “I would definitely be against that,” she said. “If the workers are complaining they’re not being paid as much, that’s completely different than saying they’re forcing children to work.”

泰勒并不信服。假如有报道称该公司违反了诸如童工法等法规,“我肯定会反对,”她说。“但如果是工人们抱怨工资太低,这跟强迫儿童劳动完全是两码事。”

Steven Prugar, a 32-year-old information technology professional in Pittsburgh who uses the pronouns they and them, said that Shein’s prices and wide variety of plus-size options have allowed them to experiment with their personal style — to learn what works for their body type — after coming out as nonbinary in 2020.

32岁的匹兹堡信息技术专业人士史蒂文·普鲁加使用they和them(他们)作为自己的人称代词,他们说,希音的定价和众多的大码选择,让他们在2020年公开自己的非二元性别后得以尝试个性风格——以便了解什么样的服装才适合他们的体型。

“You can build out an impressive wardrobe without breaking the bank, which is really nice, especially for a lot of people who are medium- and lower-income that can’t afford to spend $100 on dresses,” said Mx. Prugar, who estimated that about one-third of their wardrobe is Shein.

“不用花大钱你就能打造出一个相当不错的衣橱,这真的很好,尤其是对很多中低收入者,那些买不起100美元一件的裙子的人,”普鲁加说,他们估计,这些人的衣橱里有三分之一的衣服来自希音。

While Mx. Prugar has been willing to boycott companies like Chick-fil-A for ethical reasons — concerned about its past donations to anti-L.G.B.T.Q. groups — Mx. Prugar generally feels that “every company you buy from has a lot of skeletons. There’s really not much you can honestly do about it.”

虽然普鲁加从来都愿意出于道德理由抵制福乐鸡这种曾给反LGBTQ组织捐钱的企业,但他们还是觉得,“你所消费的每一家公司都有很多黑历史。说实话,你真的无能为力。”

That isn’t going to stop Shein from trying. In September, the company plans to start a social media campaign to give people an “inside look” at the company’s efforts around labor, sustainability and product safety, said George Chiao, the U.S. president for Shein. It has also put more effort into “driving home the idea of accessibility — that Shein is an accessible brand.”

但这并不会让希音停止尝试。希音美国总裁乔治·焦表示,该公司计划从9月开始通过社交媒体宣传,让人们“了解”其在劳动、可持续发展和产品安全方面所做的努力。该公司还更加大力地“宣传平易近人的理念——希音就是一个轻松买的品牌。”

“While most of these allegations, rumors and attacks online are false, we are partly responsible for the spread or perpetuation of these false narratives,” said Mr. Chiao, who has been with the company since 2015. “We’ve neglected really communicating and engaging more with our customers and our community.”

“虽然网上的指控、谣言和抨击大多是虚假的,但我们应对这些虚假叙述的传播或延续负有部分责任,”自2015年以来一直在该公司工作的乔治·焦说。“我们忽视了与客户和社区进行真正沟通与更多互动的必要。”

Still, Mr. Chiao believes much of the negative online discussion about Shein is a result of people falling “prey to peer pressure,” he said, comparing the online debates about Shein to the kind that unfold in politics.

不过,乔治·焦认为,网上关于希音的负面讨论在很大程度上是人们“受同辈压力”影响的结果,他说网上对希音的争论与政治上的争论是相似的。

He knows that most of the customer base remains unmoved, still fixated on the low prices.

他知道大部分顾客不会动摇,仍将重点放在低廉的价格上。

“I don’t even go to H&M anymore,” said Mr. Jaime-Vega, one half of the Dallas couple who got engaged at Shein, referring to the higher prices. Ms. Alvarado gestured at her large bag: a $100-or-so mishmash of shoes, clothes, accessories and beauty products.

“我甚至连H&M都不去了,”在希音门店订婚的那对达拉斯情侣中的杰米-维加表示,因为H&M的价格更高。阿尔瓦拉多指了指自己的大手袋:里面各种鞋子、衣服、配饰和美容产品加起来也就百来美元。

“I definitely wouldn’t be able to buy this much stuff at H&M.”

“在H&M我肯定买不了这么多东西。”
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