Fashion companies and factory owners, whether knowingly or unknowingly, have put garment workers at deadly risks by using a technique to 'distress' denim to get worn or faded patches on jeans, jackets and other products, according to campaigners.
Sandblasting is a technique that can cause silicosis, a non-curable and potentially fatal lung disease. Workers employed in sandblasting workshops in Turkey, for example, have been reported to have developed silicosis by breathing in silica dust, a mineral that is contained in the sand used in the process. Silicosis can become fatal within 6 months to 2 years of exposure.
The campaign group Labour Behind the Label (the UK platform of the Clean Clothes Campaign) are calling for a global end to the use of sandblasting in denim production.
Levi Strauss, H&M, C&A and Zara amongst other fashion brands have banned sandblasting in their supply chains. Many brands, however, including D&G, River Island, ASDA George and Armani, have yet to commit to banning sandblasting, according to campaigners. Labour Behind the Label recently released a report outlining - to date - action taken by companies on this issue.
Ask the killer question. Become a fan of D&G, Diesel and Armani on facebook and post questions on their fan pages about Killer Jeans. You could ask, 'I've heard that you distress the denim in your jeans using a practice which leads to fatal lung disease for workers. Is this true?'. Post a link to Killer Jeans.
Send a letter to retailers who haven't yet committed to banning sandblasting demanding a ban with immediate effect to save the lives of workers.
Top 10…Organic Denim
Cotton accounts for 25 percent of the world’s agrochemical use, so isn’t it time you switched to organic denim? Ruth Styles rounds up some of the best green jeans around
'Fab Skirt Dahling...'
Eithne Farry helps Matilda Lee relieve clothes closet boredom with some priceless 'no-sew sewing' tips
The new face of eco fashion
PHOTO GALLERY: The Estethica exhibition at London Fashion Week showcases pioneering designers who make clothes you never want to throw away. This exclusive photo shoot highlights some of the season's best looks
Charity shop chic
High-street fashion at bargain prices, charity shops are the ethical way to accentuate a wardrobe. All you need is a sense of adventure… By Laura Sevier
Ethical fashion special Greening the high street: marketing trick or real deal?
From organic cotton to Fairtrade fabric recent years have seen the high street making an effort to go green. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Sella Oneko investigates