Faded jeans – Banned!
Stores of fashion brands “H & M” and “Levi’s” decided that a particular model of bleached jeans should withdraw from store shelves due to illness of workers who were doing sandblasting technique, creating the effect of worn clothing pieces!
A series of fatal disease of 40 workers that took place between the 2005. and 2009. has forced the producers to ban the work of blasting technique with crystalline silicon, which result in faded jeans.
Some workers have died from lung disease caused by constant exposure to substances necessary for this treatment. “H & M” and “Levi’s” will pull bleached jeans from their shelves, and a Turkish authorities have banned the production and together with the association “International Textile Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation” launched a campaign to ban the use of blasting in the textile industry.
Traditionally speaking (if you can call it that after only three short years), what makes denim sustainable is the use of 100 percent organic cotton and plant based indigo dyes. Some brands use recycled denim and Del Forte had a great recycling program where they would take your old jeans and recycle them into new ones.
Today however, the eco denim scene is abuzz with Levi’s and H&M’s recent announcement of their plans to globally ban sandblasting by 2011. Together, they are encouraging other brands to follow suit, in the hope that it will become industry practice.
Turkey imposed a ban on the practice of sandblasting apparel in 2008, following a study conducted by news channel France24 that uncovered numerous denim workers in Istanbul who contracted this incurable disease.
As a result of the ban, some of the large denim companies in Turkey are now subcontracting to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria and Egypt, thus proving it may be difficult to monitor.
However, brands that are engaged with their supply chain, such as H&M and Levi’s, are in a better position to police the restriction closely. But not everyone is convinced that this is a good idea. Monitoring the ban means that someone would have to visit the factories, to which some argue that a more effective solution is to impose a ban on factories that fail to implement good health and safety practices when sandblasting.
And another possible solution could be to provide workers with the appropriate protection, and use dust extraction equipment, making it less of a health risk.