Students and Scholars
Corporate Misbehaviour

Year Month

[Statement] Demand American Eagle, Hollister, Levi’s, GAP, Wal-mart, H&M to improve working conditions and stop sandblasting now!

5 September 2014, Hong Kong

Last year, a joint report entitled Breathless for Blue Jeans: Health Hazards in China’s denim factories[1] by SACOM, ITUC/GUF Hong Kong Liaison Office (IHLO), War on Want and Clean Clothes Campaign found workers lack the occupational health and safety protection and their working condition remain exploitative and the deadly sandblasting[2] was still common in the industry. SACOM and other groups launched a global campaign and urged the involved brands to respond and improve the working condition immediately.

In These Times/ Huffington Post: Your “Distressed” Jeans Are Wearing Out Workers’ Lungs

“Distressed” jeans are designed to make that wear-and-tear look seem oh-so-effortless, but it can be the result of someone’s body taking a real beating.

In China, manual sandblasting techniques have given an increasing number of workers serious lung and respiratory problems. (From SACOM)

According to a recent investigation by the advocacy groups Clean Clothes Campaign, War on Want, and Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour [...]

Quartz/ Huffington Post: Your Distressed Jeans May Be Harboring A Dirty Secret

Demand for ripped, distressed jeans is causing real distress in the garment industry. At least five factories in southern China are still using a widely banned practice of sandblasting—linked to an incurable form of lung disease—to wear out jeans, according to a new report (pdf) by a consortium of workers’ rights groups.

Even dirtier than they look. Bobby Yip /Reuters

Sandblasting—a way of speeding up the process of wear [...]

[Press release] Denim workers pay deadly price for high street fashion – China factories found using banned sandblasting techniques on blue jeans

Activists will today demand urgent action from governments and companies to stamp out the continued use of sandblasting and other unsafe finishing processes in the manufacture of denim jeans.

The call comes in a new report into conditions in six denim factories in the Chinese province of Guangdong, a region responsible for half of the world’s entire production of blue jeans.

[Statement/Petition] Demand all denim brands to stop sandblasting!

9 July 2013, Hong Kong

Guangdong province in China is home of approximately half of the world’s denim production supplying garment for popular high street brands like Lee, Levi’s, H&M, Hollister, Wrangler, American Eagle, etc. The recent fashion trend of distressed jeans has however resulted in the widespread use of sandblasting; together with other processing procedures they bring a lot of health hazards to workers.

Sandblasting entails blasting sand under high pressure onto the denim fabric to create a distressed look. This procedure creates a lot of dust that mixes with tattered fabric. Extended inhalation of these particles can cause severe respiratory problems such as silicosis, byssinosis (also known as ‘brown lung disease’), [...]