Italian luxury label Versace closed their facebook wall after a group of activists led by the Clean Clothes Campaign “ask” the label to stop using sandblasting techniques to distress their denim. And by “ask”, we mean post non-stop messages demanding the brand to stop. Sandblasting involves the firing of sand under high pressure at denim to give it a distressed look, and while the end result may look cool, the process creates extremely dangerous conditions for workers. Many factories have seen injuries and death as a result of arriving at trendy distressed denim by way of this method. While the activism was “shut down” for the moment with the removal of the facebook wall, Versace made a potentially damaging mistake. Their cowardly refusal to answer to consumers could add intense fuel to the fire. Blogs and news blasts everywhere are calling them out on “running away” from the problem. This could (if we’re lucky) inspire a a wave in safer production in top brands of the industry.
Image above via Allison Joyce, from her project “Fashion Victims: A Report On Sandblasting Denim“. Take a look at that link for a better idea of how serious this issue is.
Above, an X-ray showing a patient diagnosed with Silicosis as the result of administering sandblasting in a factory, from New Zealand Medical Journal.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: activism, clean clothes campaign, facebook wall, lung damage, sandblasted denim, sandblasting denim, silicosis, Versace