Counter Culture / October 21, 2022

Here’s where to shop instead of the SHEIN Dublin pop-up

Image: LOOT
Counter Culture / October 21, 2022

Here’s where to shop instead of the SHEIN Dublin pop-up

Words: Ellen Kenny, Eva O’Beirne

SHEIN is opening a pop-up shop on Jervis this month, but we’ve found you some more sustainable options. 

Online fast fashion retailer SHEIN is opening a pop-up shop in Jervis Street Shopping Centre. From November 4 to November 8, SHEIN will allow shoppers the opportunity to see the clothes in person before actually buying them, proving once again that time is a circle. SHEIN previously hosted a showroom-only pop-up on Wicklow Street in March, but this Jervis Street pop-up is the real unethical deal. 

SHEIN arriving in Dublin was bound to raise eyebrows no matter what. The online retailer is one of the most notorious fast fashion companies in the world. The growth of microtrends perpetuated by websites like SHEIN mean that their clothes are made to be thrown away within a few wears. The fast rotation of production means that SHEIN is constantly contributing to the ten per cent of carbon emissions caused by manufacturing clothes, and they show no sign of slowing down. 

SHEIN products are also known to contain high levels of hazardous chemicals, such as lead, perfluoroalkyl (PFA), and phthalates. These are hazardous to people’s health and cause severe damage when released into the environment.

And a recent investigation into the treatment of SHEIN factory workers moves the argument from typical environmental concerns to gross human rights violations. Channel 4’s “Untold: Inside the SHEIN Machine” showed that factory workers are allowed to take just one day off every month and get a grand total of three cent per item of clothing produced. 

The documentary also explained that up to 75 per cent of a worker’s salary could be withheld from them if they make a single mistake during their shift. This shift being 18 hours. According to NGOs, this is approaching the definition of slave labour.

Alternatives to SHEIN

We’re not saying that people who shop in SHEIN are inherently bad people. I love a bargain as much as the next person. And the low price of fast fashion products makes it the most viable option for the average person to get clothes on their back. And even online shopping can more convenient to people with busy lives who just want to stay layered up. 

However, in Dublin and online, there are so many ways to shop sustainably, and a lot of people are reimagining how they own clothes. More shoppers are now focused on building a “capsule wardrobe”, owning the least amount of clothes possible to make as many outfits as possible. And not buying five fashion products can allow you to buy one long-lasting sustainable product. 

But if you’re still someone who prefers to own more clothes than less, there are lots of options that don’t involve muddying your wardrobe with clothes made from slave labour. A lot of these options are independent and Irish-owned as well, so you have a better idea of where your clothes come from, and where your money is going. 

1. Indigo and Cloth

This curated store specialises in sustainable clothing and lifestyle bits. You can pop into their store on Essex Street or order online.


LOOT is home to a curated collection of vintage fashion, accessories, magazines and independent brands such as High Minds and Innê. Shop in store on Fade Street or online.

3. All Things Fiona Lilly

Based in Donegal, this sustainable brand specialises in womenswear and doesn’t break the bank. Shop here.

4. Lucy’s Lounge

The crown jewel of Dublin vintage shops, this institution is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Shop in store in Temple Bar.

5. Henny Penny Vintage

This Dublin-based online vintage clothing store aims to cater for all styles, shapes and sizes. Fashion-forward and Earth-friendly, you can browse their website here.

6. Sugar and Spice Vintage

This Depop store specialises in Y2K vintage. Keep an eye on their Instagram for updates on their next drop.

7. Fresh Cuts

Fresh Cuts has been a favourite in Dublin’s sustainable scene for years. You can shop their full collection online or in-person in their Castle Market store.

Elsewhere on District: BRICKNASTY, Banríon, Efé and more join Other Voices Music Trail