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Shopper devastated after uncovering truth about seemingly original handcrafted bracelet: ‘I feel betrayed’

“I figured it was either handmade by them or bought from another business.”

"I figured it was either handmade by them or bought from another business."

Photo Credit: iStock

No one likes to feel tricked, but one Redditor recently took to the site to share their woes after purchasing what they thought was a handmade bracelet from a local shop, just to find out their new jewelry was from a fast-fashion site.

The Redditor took to the Anticonsumption subreddit, a dedicated space for people to talk about ways to cut down on the products they’re consuming. 

“I bought a beaded bracelet from a small business in an antique/vintage mall a few months ago cause I really loved it,” they wrote. “I figured it was either handmade by them or bought from another business. Well, I try to find that exact bracelet online just to see if I could locate the Etsy shop or whatever that’s selling it. Well, I found it on Shien.”

“I feel betrayed even though I definitely should have seen it coming,” they added. 

Disappointing is an understatement. If you haven’t heard of the company yet, Shein is an online fast-fashion retailer that uses AI to predict trends and produce thousands of new pieces daily. 

The brand has garnered a ton of controversy despite its continued popularity. Shein was accused of horrible working conditions, including long hours, low wages, and horrendous conditions for the workers inside their Chinese factories. Shein was also by numerous artists of stealing their designs.  

If that isn’t enough, Shein contributes to a huge environmental problem. The fashion industry produces 100 billion garments annually, which takes a lot of resources. It also produces between 2% to 8% of global carbon air pollution and creates 20% of all wastewater globally. 

“[It’s] ruining the one thing I thought was relatively safe to consume because at least you’re supporting an entrepreneur.” the Redditor wrote in their post. “What, can we only have thrifted and second hand items?! God forbid we might want something new for once but don’t want to contribute to the misery of others while we do it.”

As discouraged as the Redditor was with their purchase, other Redditors reminded them that they were trying to make a difference, and one bracelet didn’t offset the good they were doing. 

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are awake and making [an] effort,” one person wrote. “That is huge. Thank You.”

Another commenter had a helpful tip for shopping online and avoiding dropshipping (or when shops resell cheaper products they buy from larger corporations). 

“When I was looking online, like on Etsy, I found that buyers with a lot of items, often on sale, and with nice looking photos were dropshippers,” they wrote. “I would reverse Google image and be shown a Shein listing.”

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