Top fashion chains ban sandblasted jeans

Monday, 21 March 2011

A number of high street companies are being urged to ban the sale of sandblasted jeans. The process of sandblasting can cause serious illness to workers and even death. Campaign group Labour Behind The Label have highlighted this issue in their new report entitled Killer Jeans.

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An example of a pair of sandblasted jeans

Sandblasting is a process that gives jeans a 'worn' look, one that has been popular for some time with consumers. Silica sand is one of the most commonly used mineral abrasives in the process. The compound breaks up very easily which leaves behind large quantities of dangerous dust and exposes workers to potentially contracting silicosis, a debilitating lung disease. Use of silica sand in this way has already been banned in Germany and Portugal for these reasons.

"The trend for killer jeans must be phased out by companies and rejected by consumers with immediate effect." - Sam Maher, co-author of the Killer Jeans report. She is also calling on the brands to compensate workers who have been made ill by using sandblasting machines.

Internationally famed denim brand Levi's and popular high street retailers H&M stopped use of sandblasting back in December. Marks and Spencer and New Look have also said they no longer use the process, whilst Next have declared that they have cancelled all new orders. Supermarket chain Asda have said it is in the process of phasing out sandblasted goods and budget retailers Primark are expected to be be 90% sandblast free by the end of the year.

Disappointingly, the high-end denim label Diesel says it would stop sandblasting on its products 'early next year' and Matalan have stated that it is currently reviewing the safety procedures of the process, implying no promises to stop the sale of sandblasted goods in its stores.

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You can find out more from Labour Behind The Label.
Original news source The Telegraph via Yahoo! News here
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4 comments

  1. So interesting i hadnt even heard much about this before! Great post!

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  2. @Is This Real Life?

    I don't think it's been highlighted much in the mainstream news other than The Telegraph recently. There was an article in one of the women's monthlies (may have been Marie Claire) a couple of months ago on the topic but this is the first I've heard of the brands actually banning sandblasted goods from their lines. Thanks for reading, I'm happy to hear you found it interesting! :)

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  3. I had no idea, I hope this gets more coverage in the mainstream media! x

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  4. @Ingrid

    I hope so too! It's certainly made me think twice about where I buy my jeans from.

    There's loads more info on Labour Behind The Label and their reports are really interesting and eyeopening: http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/

    ReplyDelete

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