Fashion Victims

You might think sandblasted jeans are trendy. Too bad they’re also making workers sick.


These workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, sandblast jeans to produce fashionable creases and fades. But sand contains silica, which can cause a disabling lung disease called silicosis when inhaled. Many major brands—including, most recently, Versace—say they’ve cracked down on using silica. But some, like Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, and Roberto Cavalli, have “remained totally indifferent” to requests to eliminate sandblasted clothes, according to the Italian spokeswoman of the anti-silica Clean Clothes Campaign. On top of that, policing the supply chain is a tall order. This facility’s owner claimed some of his jeans were headed for Gap, H&M, and Walmart; meanwhile, Levi’s and H&M have since declared a global ban on silica use at their facilities.

Workers sandblast denim in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
 

Collecting sand at the sandblasting factory.
 

Workers talk while one continues sandblasting denim.
 

Workers sandblast denim in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
 

A worker at the Dhaka sandblasting facility.
 

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate