SHEIN is currently serving as one of the top e-retailers in the fashion and lifestyle industry. Despite its rapidly growing market size, the company recently discontinued the production and distribution of its own line of sunglasses.
Fashion enthusiasts from all over the world woke up one day and echoed the same question – why are there no SHEIN sunglasses for sale on the internet?
SHEIN, the parent brand, sells affordable and top-notch fashion items in over 150 countries. One of their best-selling categories included sunglasses.
But in the past couple of years, people have begun noticing that SHEIN is not producing any new sunglasses. It’s also very difficult to get your hands on some old designs that are still in circulation, somehow.
For a vast majority of the market, this news was utterly unsettling. In fact, people started lodging multiple petitions on the internet to bully the company into restarting their sunglasses and eyewear categories.
One such petition received 31 votes in the United States with a user citing their reason for support as, “need the shades”.
Unfortunately, the numerous petitions, tweets, and public backlash could not convince SHEIN to take a U-turn and bring back their coveted sunglasses. But in the future, who knows?
We cannot sit here and anticipate what is going to happen. So, we’ll instead discuss what did happen. Why did SHEIN discontinue its line of sunglasses all of a sudden?
Let’s find out.
Is SHEIN Sunglasses Discontinued?
SHEIN invested in a lot of fashionable categories, including clothing, jewelry, trendy accessories, and so on.
One interesting category was sunglasses.
It made sense for SHEIN to expand its product lines to feature eyewear items as well. After all, it is one of the most consistent markets in history.
Sure, there are design shifts and changing trends in the sunglasses market as well. But they’re usually not as volatile as any other category in the fashion industry.
And hence, SHEIN Sunglasses started production and received a good reception.
However, after a few years of operations, the fast-fashion brand decided to stop selling sunglasses. It was only last year that SHEIN removed the last of its sunglasses and eyewear products from the inventory.
Sure, there are still some product models and sunglasses available on their website. But from a brand like SHEIN, you would expect constant experimentation and production.
But because they are no longer focusing on sunglasses, the launch of new sunglasses or even the reproduction of old designs seems highly unlikely.
Why Did SHEIN Stop Selling Sunglasses?
SHEIN Sunglasses did not issue any official notice when they stopped production. Customers had to discover the bad news on their own.
Sounds pretty harsh, right?
But the brand did not exclusively manufacture sunglasses. So, they weren’t under any obligation to formally address the fans. We do admit that this piece of information doesn’t make the sting hurt any less.
The lack of voice from the company confused the fans. After all, SHEIN is a profitable entity. Even during the 2020 pandemic, SHEIN became one of the few brands to record a sales growth of more than 100% in the seventh straight year.
So why did they stop making their sunglasses? Unfortunately, we can only speculate.
We do have one theory, though.
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Fast Fashion and Sunglasses – An Unlikely Combination
We know that SHEIN focuses on fast fashion, where products and designs change according to market fads.
In such a situation, the emphasis is more on the trends and designs than on product quality. Of course, SHEIN never manufactured low-quality items. However, they never used top-of-the-line raw materials for manufacturing either.
While such a business model is sustainable for clothing and other fashion accessories, it couldn’t work for sunglasses.
In the previous decade, there was a significant rise in customer consciousness. People bought the products only after due diligence.
From 2018 onwards, many researchers were studying the negative effects of wearing fast-fashion sunglasses.
The main cause for concern was that fast-fashion brands, in an attempt to reduce the price of their sunglasses, used cheap UV-protection lenses. That exposed the eye of the customers to potential conditions like photokeratitis, cataracts, and muscular degeneration.
With this revelation, informed customers started moving away from sunglasses produced by fast-fashion brands like SHEIN.
And it was also the corporate responsibility of SHEIN to either produce high-quality sunglasses or discontinue the category entirely.
As SHEIN is popular for delivering fashionable accessories at a low price point, it only made sense for the company to stop selling sunglasses altogether. Trying to produce sunglasses with high-quality lenses could be costly.
It was simply a business risk that SHEIN wasn’t willing to take. And so, goodbye sunglasses.
SHEIN Sunglasses – Were They Good?
Like in every other category, SHEIN impressed in eyewear as well. Their sunglasses were particularly delightful, offering trendy designs at affordable prices.
You could get a stylish SHEIN-branded pair of sunglasses for as low as $3. Of course, that compelled the customers to doubt the quality of the product.
But SHEIN being SHEIN impressed in that department as well. The glasses looked sturdy and offered nice UV protection. Of course, they weren’t top-notch in terms of utility and protection, but still great for the price point at which they served.
The fast-fashion brand served multiple markets. They produced sunglasses for men, sunglasses for women, quirky sunglasses, stylish sunglasses, and retro sunglasses as well.
Some shades offered 100% UV protection on the higher end of the quality spectrum. On the other hand, there were glasses with low-quality lenses for people living in cloudy areas.
In our opinion, SHEIN Sunglasses were as good as you would expect. But the disparity in quality and the tremendous amount of options available made the customers prone to picking out the wrong product for themselves.
For example, people would purchase low-quality sunglasses to enjoy the pocket-friendly benefits that came with them. However, that left their eye unprotected from the fatal threats of UV rays.
But hey, at least they got a great deal!
That was our perception of SHEIN Sunglasses. But there’s a more important question.
What did the customers think of them?
SHEIN Sunglasses Reviews – A Customer’s Opinion
Unlike our grey verdict, the customers of SHEIN are mostly impressed by the kind of products the brand launches.
SHEIN Sunglasses did well in the market. Apart from offering high value for money, the designs and quality of the products impressed the customers as well.
One thing that the customers liked was the versatility of the brand’s sunglasses. Despite being trendy and fashionable, SHEIN’s eyewear items were flexible enough to fit any situation.
You could be wearing the same sunglasses in business meetings and beach outings and it would not look out of place.
The quality of the products is good as well. Despite being a Chinese brand, the customers were pretty satisfied with the raw materials the brand used to make the components.
There were no negative reports or feedback on the UV protection that SHEIN’s lenses offered. But that might be because it’s hard for an average customer to evaluate the quality of lenses without proper knowledge and extensive methods.
Overall, the customer reviews were as positive as they could get.
That really explains why nobody was happy when SHEIN decided to guillotine one of their most successful product categories.
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The Evolution of SHEIN – History, Controversies, and Profits
SHEIN Sunglasses might no longer be a thing. But the parent company is still going strong, carrying out profitable business practices to grow sustainably.
The cash-rich company has an equally fascinating story, one that we would like to share with you.
SHEIN originally started as ZZKKO in 2008. They started their online marketplace in 2011 through a website.
Originally, the company advertised itself as a global brand for buying excellent and unique wedding dresses. But their product line featured general apparel items as well.
The earliest model of SHEIN was pretty straightforward. They acquired their products from a Chinese wholesaler and sold them to a global audience for competitive prices.
During their initial phase, they sold in countries like France, Russia, and Italy, acquiring a significant market share in the fashion industry.
Over time, the company became a brand, expanding its product lines to include categories like cosmetics, accessories, jewelry, and so on.
SHEIN’s official website, as you know it now, first started in 2012. From there on, the company grew constantly in terms of revenue and size. The major driving force behind such a success was SHEIN’s commendable marketing strategies which included partnering with celebrities and influencers.
Social Media Marketing also played a huge role in catapulting SHEIN into global acclaim.
The 7-Year Master-Class
Between 2013 and 2020, SHEIN recorded a sales growth of 100% each year.
You know that the company is doing something right when it retains its profitability during a worldwide pandemic. The operations skyrocketed in 2013 when SHEIN’s website became fully functional with an exciting interface.
By 2014, SHEIN had become a complete retailer after the acquisition of ROMWE. The company upped its operations in the subsequent years, expanding its market size and production capabilities.
In 2015, the CEO of the company decided that the former name of the brand, Sheinside, was too complex for the American and Western markets. As a result, they made a rebranding strategy and changed the firm’s name to SHEIN, the company that we all know today.
In 2016, SHEIN was a full-fledged large company, housing 100 employees with a well-developed headquarters in China.
It was also in that year that SHEIN partnered with around 800 talented designers to launch their own line of products. Over the subsequent years, SHEIN would become popular for producing exciting and fashionable designs of their own.
Every year, SHEIN worked hard on improving its supply chain, and business model, or incorporating new product lines. Even after recording ginormous profits, the company kept on making explosive decisions.
The idea to incorporate SHEIN Sunglasses was a huge hit too. Unfortunately, for no official reason, the fast-fashion brand decided to part ways with its eyewear division.
But even in 2023, SHEIN still remains one of the top fashion manufacturers and retailers in the world.
The Ugly Side of the Coin
For all of SHEIN’s exceptional business acumen, they were not always clean in the eye of the public.
In 2021, the brand came into the spotlight on Twitter when a user shared a phone cover with offensive and graphic designs. SHEIN eventually responded with an apology and removed the product from their website.
That wasn’t the only time when SHEIN got into trouble for one of their products. In 2020, a Twitter user shared photos of a locket with the Swastika symbol.
Of course, the internet erupted without knowing that Swastika is originally the Buddhist symbol for peace and not merely a Nazi reference.
The company was also the subject of a lawsuit in the 2018 courtroom case lodged by Levi Strauss. The latter alleged that SHEIN manufacturers tried to copy their trademarked jeans stitching techniques.
SHEIN also launched a significant part of its customer base when the Indian government banned the application in their country. They cited privacy concerns as their reason for the drastic move.
It’s safe to say, therefore, that SHEIN didn’t always have a smooth journey.
SHEIN continues to live; their sunglasses, not so much.
Despite the many petitions and requests, no official spokesperson from the company spoke about the abrupt decision.
It’s safe to say that SHEIN has moved on. It might be time for you to do that as well.