Distressed denim has recently become quite fashionable. This worn down or faded look on the jeans is usually achieved by a process called sandblasting, in which minute silica particles are bombarded on the denim at a high speed to cause abrasion on the denim.
This method may be easy and cheap, however is extremely unethical as workers involved in sandblasting are exposed to harmful silica particles which deteriorate their respiratory health, and can, in most cases, be fatal. It obviously goes without saying, that after these findings, it is imperative to ban sandblasting.
While some companies like Levi’s have imposed this ban, it is a matter of shock and shame for the fashion industry that a few companies and factories still continue to use sandblasting in spite of knowing of the deadly consequences. What these companies need to realize is the fact that ,in Sam Mahler’s words (co-author of Labour behind the Label’s “killer Jeans” report ), “Dead Workers aren’t fashionable.”
Also , what consumers can do on their part is to either stop buying distressed denims, or ensure that the company they buy from is following strict ethical and quality standards. Also, retailers and companies should pay compensation to workers who have suffered illness due to sandblasting.
People in the fashion industry are artists with immense responsibility towards the society. Here’s to hoping that this fatal trend vanishes quickly and never reappears.