Target has announced it will stop carrying sandblasted jeans by late 2012. The retailer is following in the footsteps of Versace, Levis and H&M. Sandblasting is a process by which sand is fired at denim at high speeds, wearing out the fabric to create the worn in denim look. This process releases silica dust which is often inhaled by the workers. Sand-blasting can cause pulmonary disease and many workers eventually die from the disease.
Before deciding on the ban, Target rigorously studied Levi’s findings and followed up with their own research. The company found that even with strict safety standards and protective gear, sandblasting is still very harmful to workers.
“Factories that do not rigorously enforce proper health and safety standards for sandblasting put unsuspecting workers at risk,” said David Love, SVP & Chief Supply Chain Officer, Levi Strauss & Co. “This is a serious industry concern. The best way we can help ensure no worker – in any garment factory – faces this risk is to move to end sandblasting. We hope Target’s decision will encourage other companies to follow.”
But don’t despair all of you who love the worn in look. Safer methods are on the horizon.