H&M and Levi’s to shelve stonewashed jeans

Posted: September 12, 2010 in Business news

Levi’s, the largest jeans manufacturer in the world and Swedish retailing giant H&M will stop selling stonewashed jeans, according to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and Finnish morning paper Helsingen Sanomat. Sandblasting jeans in order to produce that fashionable, washed-out look started in the late 1980s. But the process can destroy the lungs of people processing the denim.
“When jeans are sandblasted, very fine sand dust floats in the air that the workers breathe. The dust is from the sand which is used to blow the treated jeans material with pressurized air. Breathing air polluted with sand dust is deadly to humans. It blocks the lung tracks causing them to get infected and scarred. If the exposure continues for a long time the worker contracts silicosis and the result is early death. There is no known cure for the disease,” according the Finnish trade union federation SASK, which was first to reveal that the two jeans makers will shelve the stonewashed style.
The dangerous practice of sandblasting jeans has been banned in Europe for decades, but the process still is done in small shops in Turkey, despite the fact that it was prohibited in that country last year. According to SASK, at least 40 workers in jeans manufacture have died due to inhaling sand dust at their workplace. Of course, there are other methods of obtaining the stonewashed effect on denim, but the other methods are slow and expensive compared to sandblasting.

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  1. shin says:

    what sre the alternatives to Stonewashing or Sandblasting?

    • wordhack1 says:

      “Alternatives to sandblasting which we will use are: machine scraping and hand scraping,” H&M spokesperson Andrea Roos explained, when we contacted her November 1, 2010.

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