“I have mixed feelings”: Locals divided over fast fashion pop-up store coming to Vancouver

The latest pop-up store coming to Vancouver has people divided after a controversial brand announced its opening.

Online fast-fashion retailer Shein is set to open its pop-up store along Granville Street on April 11 and stay open for four days. It will take over the two-story vacant lot at 804 Granville Street, which is seasonally used for the Spirit Halloween costume store.

We hit the streets of Vancouver to ask what people thought of the brand setting up in a temporary brick-and-mortar store, and many people were unsure about how to feel.

“I first walked by and was like, ‘Shein, here?’” said local Annie Jorgensen. “I feel like it’s a bad way to represent Vancouver.”

Shein has been a controversial brand within the fast fashion industry for the way it operates to get its low prices, including unfair wages and unsafe working conditions for its employees and environmental impacts from its production and sourcing.

Jorgensen shared that despite thinking the store could be a bad look for the city, she has mixed feelings because of how many other fast fashion brands exist.

“I kind of have mixed feelings because I have shopped there before, but I know that it is fast fashion, and that’s obviously not a good thing,” she said. “But, also a lot of stores that we buy from are fast fashion and I think a lot of people don’t know that.”

Another woman called Versaille shared a similar sentiment.

“I heard lots about it, that it’s kind of fast fashion and they use child labour and stuff like that. So, I don’t really think it’s pretty great,” said Versaille.

Others along Granville street also recognized the controversy around the brand but shared that they think the pop-up store will be a hit nonetheless.

“I think that its going to be a big hit. I feel like a lot of people are going to come here if they know about it,” said shopper Isabelle.

Her friend Judy shared a similar sentiment about the expected popularity.

“It’s a lot easier than buying online because you can come here,” Judy said. “I think it’s nice to see it in person because with online you never know if the product is really what it’s going to be like.”

The pop-up store will be open at 804 Granville Street from April 11 to April 14.