Andrew Burnstine – Retail Matters

First, the tax authorities targeted soda, plastics, and hazardous chemicals with excise taxes. Now they’re coming for fast-fashion companies like Shein and Temu.

Imposing special taxes on mass-produced $16 party dresses? That seems like a lot of effort for some low-hanging fashion fruit.

But the fruit may not be as poor quality as it appears — not for lawmakers eyeing fast fashion as a billowing industry that they can tap for revenue; not for policymakers who see fast fashion as an environmental train wreck; and certainly not for customs officials annoyed that fast-fashion companies are allegedly skirting import tariffs thanks to the cheap value of their goods.

Fast fashion is a $100 billion industry, and as it grows, authorities are pointing out some red flags about its economic and sustainability practices. Increasingly, they are evaluating how taxation can be used to address or remedy some of their concerns.


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