Are the Uyghurs appealing for help? This is the message widely disseminated on social networks for several weeks. In the viewfinder: the Chinese fast fashion brand, Shein. Internet users denounce: “There are calls for help on the label of the clothes. “On the shared photographs, it is indeed possible to read:” Need your help. »

Call for help messages would be written on the clothing labels of the Shein site
Messages for help would be written on the labels of clothing on the Shein site – Screenshot

Being deprived of their rights and reduced to slavery, Internet users imagined that putting this on the labels of the clothes they make would be the only way for them to get a message across. Is it true ? 20 minutes make the point.

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As a reminder, the Uyghurs are a minority, mainly Muslim, of Turkic language and which represents a little less than half of the 25 million inhabitants of Xinjiang. Several countries, including the United States, evoke a “genocide” and NGOs accuse Beijing of having interned since 2017 more than a million of them in political re-education centers. The National Assembly also denounced this genocide last January.

Several major brands, including some textiles like H & M or Zara, have been accused of making Uyghurs work in camps. Although nothing is proven, the very low rates applied by Shein often lead to the shortcut of a workforce paid very little. This is what makes the information, passed through publications on social networks, plausible.

The message identified in the photographs is present on some labels. But the full sentence should be read: “Due to the water saving technology, need your help washing with the soft detergent at the first time to make the goods softer. Translation: “Due to the water-saving technology, we need your help to wash with the mild detergent at the first time to make the goods softer.” So these are washing instructions, not a call for help.

On Tiktok, the Shein brand responded to these rumors: “This poorly worded label simply asks consumers to help preserve the softness of the fabric by using a milder detergent. »

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