Large Companies Stealing Designs from Small Businesses

Maggie Dineen, Fashion Reporter

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has been taking over our world for the past two years, online shopping has become more affordable and accessible. And because of the lack of stores open, fast fashion has become a huge industry. Companies such as Shein, Zaful, Romwe, and etc. use cheap prices and cute designs to draw customers in. And although sites like these seem like a dream come true for teens and young adults wanting to up their style, these companies come with controversy. 

Small businesses and designers have been accusing large corporations of stealing their designs and selling them in mass productions. A black-owned black called Elexiay accused Shein of stealing their design of a $330 sweater. Their sweaters are hand crocheted by hand which is the reason for the extravagant price, but with a cheaper option now on another site, they will not be getting any customers. The designer from Elexiay sent out a tweet stating, “Tonight I feel crushed, @SHEIN_official has stolen my Amelia sweater design. Spent hours designing and brainstorming this design and it takes days to crochet each sweater. It’s quite disheartening to see my hard work reduced to a machine made copy.” Along with this brand, other designers have been speaking up about their problems with Shein and other large fast fashion companies. Artists that create their own artworks, earrings, and pins have also experienced this. 

Although when spoken about, the stolen designs get taken down, this will definitely continue to happen in the fast fashion world as long as they can get away with it. Fast fashion continues to hurt our society and small businesses by stealing their artwork and selling it as their own.