A new report by the Clean Clothes Campaign exposes the continued use of sandblasting in the Bangladesh garment industry, despite it being banned by some big brands and outlawed in Turkey since 2009. The CCC recognise that this problem is not exclusive to Bangladesh, and like the International Textiles Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation [ITGLWF], call for global action on the issue.
”This report shows that a voluntary company ban is simply not enough – governments worldwide should enforce a national ban as well as enforcing import bans.” Clean Clothes Campaign 2012
Sandblasting is a technique used to distress denim and the practice is widely accepted as being dangerous to workers health, including exposing them to the risk of Silicosis, an incurable and potentially fatal lung disease. These concerns are made more worrying where health and safety precautions are inadequate or non existent. The Deadly Denim report contains the findings of research conducted in Bangladesh including interviews from garment workers, suppliers and heath care professionals; it also explores why sandblasting is still widely used despite the known dangers, and offers recommendations to brands, governments and international organisations.
The issue of sandblasting is one which should lead us all to question the real cost of the clothes we buy and whether it is ever acceptable for people to risk their lives in the production of fashion items.
Further Reading //
Sandblasted jeans: Should we give up distressed denim?[article]: BBC World Service
Killer Jeans: A campaign by Labour behind the Label
Deathly Jeans: Sandblasting damages health : Published by Aktive Forbrugere in collaboration with Clean Clothes Campaign
Global Campaign to Eliminate Sandblasting: International Textile Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation [ITGLWF]