Versace announces it will join the global ban on sandblasting

After an intensive campaign launched by the Clean Clothes Campaign and recently hosted by, the Italian textile brand Versace has just announced that it will join other denim manufacturers around the globe in calling for a ban on the practice of sandblasting.

After many months of silence, Versace now say they agree that the sandblasting operators who make the finishings on the jeans run unacceptable health risks. Previously they had refused to join the call for a ban and refused to provide details of their production.

Jeans are sandblasted to give parts of the fabric a faded, worn out or bleached look. These jeans are profitable business: the retail prices of sandblasted jeans is often significantly higher than jeans without such finishings. Therefore, jeans producers think they found a cheap way of increasing their profits. However, there is a hidden cost: sandblasting operators working in the countries where most of our garments are produced - such as Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Egypt, and others - contract an acute form of silicosis and many eventually die from the disease.  Considering the difficulties in monitoring the supply chain and the fatal consequences of jeans sandblasting, we call on the jeans companies to eliminate all jeans sandblasting from their supply chains.

Last year, jeans producer Levi-Strauss, fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), retailer C&A and many others announced they will ban sandblasted jeans from their product ranges. A global campaign was launched by the CCC in November 2010 following on from work done by the global textile trade union the ITGLWF.

Versace finally joins brands such as Benetton, Bestseller, Burberry, C&A, Carrera Jeans, Charles Vögele, Esprit, Gucci, H&M, Levi-Strauss & Co., Mango, Metro , New Look, Pepe Jeans and Replay.

The Clean Clothes campaign welcomes Versace's decision today and will be following up with the brand to provide information as to how they will be implementing the ban and monitoring their supply chains.

You can sign the petition to put pressure on the brands that still refuse to ban the dangerous practice.

Media reaction

The change in policy by Versace has been widely reported in international media: