Deadly denim under your Christmas tree?

published 09-01-2013 16:00, last modified 24-04-2013 09:50
Did you get some nice new jeans for Christmas? Unfortunately, they may have been produced with sandblasting, a deadly manufacturing method which has caused thousands of cases of silicosis among the workers. A new report from Sweden shows a ban is not enforced.
Deadly denim under your Christmas tree?

The report "Still Fashion Victims?"

The Swedish Fair Trade Center's new study shows that a majority of investigated clothing companies in Sweden have banned sandblasting, but that they continue to face serious challenges enforcing the ban.

Only few of the clothing companies in Sweden can ensure that the jeans they sell are completely free of sandblasting, a manufacturing practice which often destroys the workers' lungs as they inhale particles of the sand which is used to produce the worn-out look.The new study shows that Acne, Tiger of Sweden, Varner-gruppen, MQ, RNB Retail and Brands still have suppliers with sandblasting capacities. The problem is further aggravated by the fact that clothing companies cannot constantly control their suppliers and subcontractors, especially further down in their supply chains.

Furthermore, few clothing companies test whether their jeans have been sandblasted or not. Fair Trade Center believes that companies should work closely with their suppliers to develop new more accurate methods and consistently use them as standard in their audits. By doing so, the consumer will take comfort in knowing that the denim under the Christmas tree has not been produced at the expense of workers’ lives.

The report is available at

Fair Trade Center’s study ”Still fashion victims? Monitoring a ban on sandblasted denim” includes the following clothing companies: Acne, Filippa K, Gina Tricot, H&M, Indiska, Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti), J. Lindeberg, KappAhl, Lindex, MQ, Nudie Jeans, RNB Retail and Brands (Polarn & Pyret, Brothers, Sisters, JC), Tiger of Sweden, Varner-gruppen (Cubus, Dressmann, BikBok, Carlings, Solo), Whyred, WeSC and Åhléns.

Fair Trade Center is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes ethical trade by monitoring Swedish companies that trade with low-income countries. They are part of the network of the international Clean Clothes Campaign. For more information on Fair Trade Center, visit

Filed under: ,
See also
Fashion Victims - A Report On Sandblasted Denim

This report from November 2010, by the Swedish Fair Trade Centre in cooperation with the Clean ...

Breathless for Blue Jeans: health hazards in China's denim factories

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) alongside with War on Want, SACOM and IHLO in July 2013 releases ...

Executive Summary: Breathless for Blue Jeans

This provides an overview of the July 2013 report from CCC and partners War on Want, SACOM and IHLO ...

Deadly Denim: Sandblasting in the Bangladesh Garment Industry

Sandblasting has become the key method for finishing most modern jeans requiring that ...

Campaigners demand an end to sandblasting Campaigners demand an end to sandblasting

Campaigners today, July 9th, held a demonstration outside the Hong Kong flagship store of Hollister ...

Denim workers pay deadly price

New report finds that Chinese factories are using banned sandblasting techniques on jeans.

Stop the Killer Jeans! Stop the Killer Jeans!

After much publicity on an Italian TV-show, Roberto Cavalli has issued a very terse statement ...

 Pressure builds on Dolce & Gabbana to ban sandblasting Pressure builds on Dolce & Gabbana to ban sandblasting

Clean Clothes continues to focus on the remaining brands which have not responded to our call for ...

 Versace announces it will join the global ban on sandblasting Versace announces it will join the global ban on sandblasting

After an intensive campaign launched by the Clean Clothes Campaign and recently hosted by ...

 Versace deletes Facebook protests on sandblasting Versace deletes Facebook protests on sandblasting

The luxury Italian brand Versace de-activated its Facebook wall after activists posted dozens of ...

more ...