Supermarket retailer, Asda, has confirmed that theywill be starting to phase out the use of sandblasting on their George fashion line pieces. This announcement comes after new research has shown the damaging effects sandblasting techniques can have on workers’ health.
"As part of Walmart's global commitment, we are already in the process of phasing out sandblasted products and it is our intention that there will be none on sale in our stores by the end of this year," a spokesperson said.
"This will mean that by the end of October, the sandblasting process will no longer be used in the production of George products. That's a significant commitment, and one we're proud to put our name to."
This latest move comes as Asda was attacked by ethical pressure group, Labour Behind the Label, which published a report, ‘Killer Jean,’ claiming research shows that thousands of workers are at risk from developing the lung disease, silicosis, which is developed from inhaling the sand, blasted at denim to give it the distressed look.
"The trend for Killer Jeans must be phased out by companies and rejected by consumers," said the report's author.
Now campaigners in Turkey are pleading with the government to impose a ban from trading these jeans since several incidents have occurred as well as across Bangladesh, China and Mexico.
High street fashion retailer, H&M and eponymous jeans brand, Levi Strauss, have both made announcements within the last 6 months that they would stop the production of sandblasted jeans.
A spokesperson for Labour Behind the Label said they would continue to work on the cause both in the UK and abroad and to offer compensation to those who have been fatally affected.