Latest news about ethical consumerism


'Vintage' jeans blasted

Dec 16

Written by:
16/12/2010 10:03  RssIcon

NGOs attack sandblasting of new denim

 All generations mock the fashion follies of the last. Once our kids have forgiven us for running down their fossil fuels, wrecking the planet, doing nothing to stop global poverty etc, they may ask:

“Why did men expend so much time, effort and hair product to achieve a 'just out of bed' look?”
“Why did people need their own version of outfits worn once a month?”
“And why did you pay extra for new jeans that had been half-destroyed to make them look old?”

The latter might soon fall out of fashion. And it will owe nothing to taste. Spearheaded by the Clean Clothes Campaign, labour organisations around the world are calling for a ban on 'sandblasting' – a technique used to 'age' denim jeans.

The technique is simple: load an airblaster with sand, silicon or any other fine grit; then unleash a pressurised barrage onto the thighs, knees, crotch of the jean. This simple technique adds a veneer of 'authenticity' for workshy fashionistas in the West. Sandblasting is certainly profitable for whoever runs the dust-filled workshop – the hidden cost is borne by the workers.

More than 5,000 workers in the Turkish textile industry have been stricken with silicosis – an occupational form of respiratory disease, chronic amongst 16th century miners. 46 people are known to have died and Turkey's government banned the practice in March 2009. Workers in China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico and Egypt inter alia have no such protection.

Now the Turkish-based Solidarity Committee of Denim Sandblasting Labourers, together with the Clean Clothes Campaign, and the US-based International Labor Rights Forum are calling on governments to ban imports of these products. Jeans producer Levi-Strauss and fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) have already announced they will stop selling sandblasted jeans for this reason.

Let's hope this is the beginning of the end for an absurd sartorial fad.





Full News Archive


Ethical news archive going back to July 2009.

Read More

Ethical Consumer Blog

Battling the tabloid bigots

  • 23/10/2017 12:22

A new campaign is helping shoppers fight bigotry and racism in the media, says Simon Birch

Ethical Consumer Blog

Bottling It

  • 18/10/2017 14:49

Louisa Casson, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, tells us about its campaign to tackle plastic pollution

Ethical Consumer Blog

Lush Spring Prize 2018

  • 16/10/2017 10:13

Today is the launch of the second year of the Lush Spring Prize, a collaboration with Ethical Consumer and Lush

Ethical Consumer Blog

Demand for Ethical Investment

  • 12/10/2017 09:26

Triodos Banks research into ethical investment shows a positive trend this Good Money Week

Ethical Consumer Blog

Uncharted Waters

  • 11/10/2017 12:49

Shaun Fensom tells us about the next steps for the Co-op bank and the Customer Union