Influencer slammed for praising Shein factory despite company’s long history of labor


An influencer who describes herself as an ‘investigative journalist’ is facing furious backlash after posting a glowing review of her trip to budget fashion brand Shein’s factory in China – while ignoring the company’s long history of labor abuse allegations. 

Dani Carbonari, 30, who is better known as Dani DMC online, has been slammed for posting numerous videos praising Shein – after the company paid to have her, and a slew of other online stars, fly to Guangzhou to visit one of its main facilities.

Dani, who is originally from New York but now lives in LA, documented the vacation on her Instagram account, where she has gained more than 481,000 followers, and she defended the fast-fashion retailer against reports that claimed it doesn’t treat its workers fairly.

In one of her videos, Dani called the visit to the factory ‘one of the most life-changing trips of her life.’

An influencer who describes herself as an 'investigative journalist' has come under fierce fire for offering a gushing review of a Shein factory after she was sent to tour it on a sponsored trip

An influencer who describes herself as an ‘investigative journalist’ has come under fierce fire for offering a gushing review of a Shein factory after she was sent to tour it on a sponsored trip

Dani Carbonari, better known as Dani DMC online, 30, has been slammed online for posting numerous videos praising Shein

Dani Carbonari, better known as Dani DMC online, 30, has been slammed online for posting numerous videos praising Shein

The company paid to have her, and a slew of other online stars, fly to Guangzhou, China, to visit one of its main facilities. She's seen during her travels

The company paid to have her, and a slew of other online stars, fly to Guangzhou, China, to visit one of its main facilities. She's seen during her travels

The company paid to have her, and a slew of other online stars, fly to Guangzhou, China, to visit one of its main facilities. She’s seen during her travels

‘Getting to see the whole process of Shein clothing [being made] from beginning to end with my own two eyes was so important for me,’ she said.

‘Shein is such a developed and complex company, it was so beautiful to see first hand.’ 

Dani documented the vacation on her Instagram account, where she has gained more than 481,000 followers, and she defended the fast-fashion retailer against reports that claimed it doesn't treat its workers fairly

Dani documented the vacation on her Instagram account, where she has gained more than 481,000 followers, and she defended the fast-fashion retailer against reports that claimed it doesn’t treat its workers fairly

The video featured a montage of clips taken from inside the factory, which showed workers sewing clothes as Dani and the other influencers watched on.

‘I was really excited and impressed to see the working conditions,’ added the 30-year-old.

Dani explained that she ‘interviewed’ one of the employees who ‘works in the fabric cutting department’ – and that the worker was ‘surprised by the rumors’ of mistreatment.  

‘I was able to interview a woman who works in the fabric cutting department, and you know me, [I’m] an investigative journalist, so I asked her all of our questions,’ she continued.

‘She answered them honestly and authentically. She was very surprised by all the rumors that have been spread in the US.’

Dani concluded: ‘I think my biggest takeaway from this trip is to be an independent thinker – get the facts and see it with your own two eyes. 

One of her videos featured a montage of clips taken from inside the factory, which showed workers sewing clothes as Dani and the other influencers watched on

One of her videos featured a montage of clips taken from inside the factory, which showed workers sewing clothes as Dani and the other influencers watched on

One of her videos featured a montage of clips taken from inside the factory, which showed workers sewing clothes as Dani and the other influencers watched on

'Getting to see the whole process of Shein clothing [being made] from beginning to end with my own two eyes was so important for me,' she said

‘Getting to see the whole process of Shein clothing [being made] from beginning to end with my own two eyes was so important for me,’ she said

'I was really excited and impressed to see the working conditions,' added the 30-year-old

‘I was really excited and impressed to see the working conditions,’ added the 30-year-old

‘There’s a narrative fed to us in the US and I’m one that always likes to be openminded and seek the truth, so I’m grateful for that about myself and I hope for the same for you guys.’

The video was one of several that Dani posted during the trip – which resulted in her producing six TikTok videos and three Instagram posts documenting her time in China with the brand. 

And while none of the videos appear to have been paid for by Shein, the trip is understood to have been entirely comped for all of the online stars who were invited. 

Other influencers who were also on the trip included Destene Sudduth, Aujené Butler, Fernanda Stephany Campuzano, Kenya Freeman, and Marina Saavedra. 

In a post of her own, Aujené – who has wracked up one million followers – similarly defended Shein.

‘As a public figure, I feel a responsibility to shed light on certain topics and bring awareness to a few of the many issues we have in the world,’ she captioned a video that she posted from her trip to China.

‘Child labor and fair wages are serious topics and were some of the q’s you guys were curious about and wanted me to ask. 

‘When asking a few of the workers and employees about these topics everyone we came across was content with their salary and the idea of child labor was something they looked at me crazy for. 

‘A lot of the people are just trying to make an honest living and said their kids and the children they know are just like our kids in the states. 

Dani explained that she 'interviewed' one of the employees who 'works in the fabric cutting department' - and that the worker was 'surprised by all the rumors' of bad working conditions

Dani explained that she ‘interviewed’ one of the employees who ‘works in the fabric cutting department’ – and that the worker was ‘surprised by all the rumors’ of bad working conditions

'[I'm] an investigative journalist, so I asked her all of our questions,' Dani continued. 'She answered them honestly and authentically. She was very surprised by all the rumors'

‘[I’m] an investigative journalist, so I asked her all of our questions,’ Dani continued. ‘She answered them honestly and authentically. She was very surprised by all the rumors’

‘They aren’t trying to work in factories, they’re tryna be on Tiktok and IG. Seeing how advanced Guangzhou was first hand was pleasantly surprising.’

Dani concluded: 'I think my biggest takeaway from this trip is to be an independent thinker - get the facts and see it with your own two eyes'

 Dani concluded: ‘I think my biggest takeaway from this trip is to be an independent thinker – get the facts and see it with your own two eyes’

Shein, which began in 2008 as a ‘low-cost Chinese apparel merchant,’ has become a worldwide phenomenon, earning more than $100 billion in sales last year, according to Time magazine.

Back in October 2022, however, an explosive report emerged from Channel 4 in the UK which claimed that Shein workers got as little as four cents for each item they made, and that they were often forced to work 18-hour shifts, seven days a week, with only one day off per month. 

Swiss watchdog Public Eye also reported a month later that the brand was running ‘informal factories’ set up in residential buildings and didn’t provide employees with any contracts, which is against Chinese labor laws.

It’s also been said that some of Shein’s factories lacked important safety infrastructures – like fire exits – and that there were bars on its windows. 

In December 2022, Shein announced that it would be investing $15 million into improving standards in its factories.

Many were furious over Dani and the other influencer's positive posts about their trip, and tons of online users quickly flooded her Instagram posts with angry messages

Many were furious over Dani and the other influencer’s positive posts about their trip, and tons of online users quickly flooded her Instagram posts with angry messages

At the time, the retailer said in a statement: ‘We know we have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of workers in our supply chain. 

‘In light of the recent report in the news, we launched an investigation into the claim that two of our suppliers had unacceptable working conditions at their facilities.’

Many were furious over Dani’s – as well as the other influencer’s – positive posts about the trip.

And while she turned off the comments on her videos, tons of online users quickly flooded her other Instagram posts with angry messages.

‘Your dress looks just as cheap as your morals,’ one person wrote on a photo that Dani posted following the trip, in which she was modeling a Shein gown.

‘This is disgustingly irresponsible,’ said someone else. Another user added, ‘The worker that made that dress got paid four cents.’

‘The way you got paid more to wear that dress than the person that made it probably ever will,’ read a fourth comment.

A different person commented, ‘You should be ashamed.’

‘This hurts my heart. The things people do for money and clout, despite knowing others will suffer for it,’ someone else wrote. 



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