Sandblasted jeans might be an item that can be found in many people’s closet. But don’t ever think to add a new pair of sandblasted jeans because this fashion item turned out to be dangerous for workers and is banned gradually by several jeans manufacturers. Why? It is banned to protect the workers involved in the process from serious health risk. It may cause a fatal lung disease known as silicosis.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, 40 garment factory workers involved in the denim sandblasting process died in Turkey from 2005 to 2009. Another 7,000 workers were exposed and became prominent to get lung disease. Really sad to know that this happened when these people only tried to make a living
Levi’s and H&M had set good example for other jeans companies. They had eliminated sandblasting process from their production since last year. Now they have planned to work together with the International Textile Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) to draft a manifesto banning the use of sandblasting in denim, in order to convince other brands to eliminate it.
“What we have done is try to get main brands around the world to the table to start a discussion with them [about the health risks associated with the sandblasting process] and see if they would agree to sign a voluntary agreement banning sandblasting,” said Itschert, a representative from ITGLWF. “At the first meeting, a vast majority agreed, but some others were not at that stage yet.”
The ITGLWF hopes to reach out to governments in other countries that produce denim, including China, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and others in Asia, Central America and the Mediterranean region. “Once the ban is in place in one country, they just to move to other ones. We want to go to countries where jeans are produced and tell them that sandblasting kills.”
So, as a consumer, you know what to do right, guys? Stop buying sandblasted jeans. When there’s no more demand for it, hopefully denim manufacturers will stop producing them for good. They don’t even look good anyway!