A few weeks ago I took fashion house Versace to task for selling and producing sandblasted jeans. Getting this faded jeans look is very dangerous and even life threatening to the poor people who do this work. Now Versace has responded to activists. The Italian fashion house has committed to ban the dangerous practice of sandblasting jeans. Good!
The news follows a two-month international campaign by the Clean Clothes Campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing social action platform. More than 1,200 people from all over the world joined the campaign (including me, and I hope some of you dear readers.) Sandblasting is a process by which workers fire sand under high pressure at jeans. It has been known to kill workers in garment producing countries like Turkey and Bangladesh, where jean sandblasting is done manually. The large amounts of silica dust generated during sandblasting can cause silicosis, a potentially lethal pulmonary disease, as workers inhale tiny particles of silica.
Following public pressure and buzz on social media channels, Versace conducted a review of its clothing suppliers and announced that, effective immediately, suppliers would be banned from using sandblasting.
“Following more recent CCC’s comments on Versace’s practices, the company decided to study the issue in depth again and concluded, in agreement with CCC, that it is appropriate to take a proactive stance, and stand against the practice of sandblasting,” said Versace’s Tomaso Galli in a letter to Change.org. “Versace has specifically asked every supplier (and will ask any new supplier as a condition to work with Versace) to certify that they are not using sandblasting.”
I’m glad Versace listened and responded. No high priced jeans are worth the even higher price of human life.