It turns out that the process many manufacturers use to distress and wash denim (giving it that “worn” look) is destructive not only to the environment, but also to factory workers. And major brands, including Levi’s and H&M, are taking action to change their sandblasting ways.
This morning, Women’s Wear Daily reported that Levi’s and H&M are now working with “the International Textile Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation to draft a manifesto banning the use of sandblasting in denim, in the hopes of convincing other brands to eliminate it.”
Sandblasting can be extremely toxic; workers who breathe in the silica dust that’s generated during the process can develop silicosis, which is often fatal. Turkey banned the practice of sandblasting in early 2009 after 43 factory workers died — investigators traced their deaths directly to the process.
What do you think: If most consumers knew about the dangers associated with producing their light-colored denim, would people continue to buy it?