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Photo by purplemattfish. The Clean Clothes Campaign are calling on an end to sandblasting in denim production because of the link to a fatal lung disease in garment workers
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TAKE ACTION to ban 'killer jeans'

Matilda Lee

25th May, 2011

Join Labour Behind the Label in a week of action from 30th May to 5th June to lobby brands to ban the technique of sandblasting denim

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.

TAKE ACTION

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.

 

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