Hey Hipsters did you see this -
These are the corpses created by your deadly jeans. But Wait Theres’ More :
Yes that’s a Walmart Label – found in the burned debris of the deadly fire.
This is why we’re no longer trusting Walmart – because they’re killers, literally.
On the 24th November, at least 112 workers died in the fire at Tazreen Fashions, a garment factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many of the workers jumped to their deaths trying to escape from the nine story building. Others, unable to escape the blaze, were burned alive. Tazreen produced for a host of well known brand names, including C&A, KIK, Walmart, Li & Fung, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Disney, Dickies, Sean Comb (ENYCE) and Kmart/Sears.
First reports suggest the fire was started by an electrical short circuit. The cause of over 80% of all factory fires in Bangladesh are due to faulty wiring. The fire in Tazreen Fashions brings the total of workers that have died in unsafe factories in Bangladesh since 2005 to around 700.
Accounts of the different fires clearly show that many of these tragic deaths could have been prevented had the factories met basic safety standards. The windows of the Tazreen factory were barred to prevent theft, and safe fire exits were mostly absent, making it impossible for the workers to escape the flames and smoke. At the time of the fires the managers initially stopped workers from leaving by dismissing a fire warning as a false alarm.
Call upon C&A, KIK, Walmart, Li & Fung, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Disney, Dickies, Sean Comb (ENYCE) and Kmart/Sears to take up responsibility!
The Clean Clothes Campaign along with trade unions and labour rights organisations in Bangladesh and around the world call upon the buyer companies to:
- Ensure full compensation to the victims,
- Support a full and transparent investigation into the fires,
- Sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement.
CCC is calling upon your support to ask justice for the Tazreen victims and to avoid another Tazreen to happen.
Please write your letter to C&A, KIK, Walmart, Li & Fung, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Disney, Dickies, Sean Comb (ENYCE) and Kmart/Sears, demanding them to take up responsibility!
RECOMMENDATIONS TO COMPANIES
- IMPROVE monitoring systems and create better purchasing practices.
- BUILD long-term relationships with suppliers by communicating clearly and showing transparency.
- COOPERATE directly with NGOs and trade unions in production countries in monitoring the sandblasting ban.
- ENSURE good internal communication about the risks of sandblasting and other alternative methods between the CSR, design and purchasing departments as well as suppliers.
- CONTINUE to support a ban on sandblasting in supply chains, and support suppliers that wish to phase out their sandblasting.
- MONITOR new research on alternative methods and work to improve supplier trainings in health and safety issues.
- INVESTIGATE at which of the clothing company’s production sites workers may have contracted silicosis or may have been put at risk. If this is the case, the clothing company needs to make sure that adequate compensation is provided for the workers and their families, as well as the necessary financial support for medical treatments.
- PROMOTE a European Union import ban and national sandblasting bans in production countries.
- PUBLICIZE detailed information on your stance and work on banning sandblasting in your supply chain.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNMENTS IN DENIM PRODUCING COUNTRIES
- BAN the use of manual and mechanical sandblasting.
- ENFORCE rules on occupational health and safety.
- ENSURE that silicosis affected workers receive support e.g. social and medical assistance and disability pensions, regardless of whether they worked in the formal or informal sector.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONSUMERS
- ASK the salesperson in your denim store how the denim has been produced.
- FIND out what the clothing companies to monitor their sandblasting bans.
- AVOID purchasing jeans that already have a “worn-out” look.
- USE your old jeans longer.
Jeans with a distressed, already-worn look have been popular since the 1990s, but one way the effect is achieved is by blasting them with sand – and this can give factory workers an incurable lung disease. So should we stop buying them?
“I have difficulty breathing… When I return from work I feel so tired. My eyes are in pain from all the dust,” says an 18-year-old worker at a garment factory in Bangladesh.By Cordelia Hebblethwaite and Anbarasan Ethirajan BBC World Service
Bangladesh is home to more than 4,000 clothes-making factories and many of the world’s leading jeans companies use factories based there.
The worker, who agreed to speak anonymously to the BBC World Service, says he works 11 hours a day in the choking atmosphere, to earn a salary of $70 a month.
“I know the effects this is having on my health, but I continue to do it because I need to feed myself and my family,” he says.
It hasn’t become a big scandal in the way it should have done”
Sam MaherClean Clothes Campaign
“I am a poor man, so I do this to survive.”
Manual sandblasting of jeans requires just a hose, an air compressor and sand – workers literally blast the jeans with sand, to give them a worn look and to soften the denim.
Silicosis is caused when small particles of silica dust from the sand embed themselves within the lungs.
It causes shortness of breath, coughing, weakness and weight loss. It’s incurable – and in its acute form, fatal.
Last year, Levi Strauss & Co and H&M publicly announced a ban on sandblasting of their denim.
After lobbying from campaign groups, many other companies have followed suit, saying they have either banned sandblasting from their supply chains, or are in the process of doing so.
But this is not always easily done.
Brands that have banned sand
- Armani, Benetton, Bestseller, Burberry, C&A, Carrera Jeans, Charles Voegele, Esprit, Gucci, H&M, Levi Strauss & Co, New Yorker, Mango, Metro, New Look, Pepe Jeans, Replay, The Just group, Versace
- Some companies say sandblasting does not occur in their supply chain, but have not publicly banned it
- Others say they will soon stop ordering sandblasted jeans
Companies in the garment industry tend not to own the factories that make their clothes, and work is often sub-contracted out from big factories to smaller, less well-regulated ones.
“We are still in the very early stages of the ban,” says Sam Maher, co-author of a report on sandblasting by the international pressure group, the Clean Clothes Campaign.
“There is still the worry that it is more of a paper commitment.”
“It’s such a poorly-controlled industry. Companies need to have a much stronger grip on their supply chain than we believe they do.”
There are other ways of producing distressed jeans – using lasers, or scraping by hand or machine, for example – which result in a similar effect. So consumers have no way of knowing whether they are buying jeans that have made a worker ill on the other side of the world.
The sandblasting backlash began in Turkey, one of the world’s biggest exporters of jeans.
In 2004, a doctor in a village in the Bingol region in the east of the country became suspicious, after conducting medical tests on a group of young men about to start military service.
Dozens of them were suffering from silicosis and all had been working in denim sandblasting factories in Istanbul.
“I believe that distressed denim will be seen as one of the great madnesses of this generation”
Orsola de CastroCreative Director, From Somewhere
It was the first time that the illness – which has a long history among workers in construction and mining – had been found within the garment industry.
To date, 46 garment workers have died from silicosis in Turkey, and there are 1,200 registered cases – though doctors suspect the true number of people affected there is much higher.
Five years after the discoveries in Bingol, the Turkish government banned sandblasting. But in other countries the issue has received scant attention.
“It hasn’t become a big scandal in the way it should have done,” says Sam Maher.
The Clean Clothes Campaign believes that sandblasting just moved from Turkey to other countries – including Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, and Egypt.
It is hard for journalists to gain access to factories making jeans in Bangladesh, but one factory owner did agree to show the BBC around.
“One hundred per cent of our buyers are outside the country. We are dealing with world renowned buyers,” says Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Executive Director of Express Washing and Dyeing Limited, just outside the capital Dhaka.
Silicosis – the facts
- One of the most common occupational diseases, traditionally found in sandblasting workers in construction and mining
- There is no cure for silicosis. In less severe cases, treatment helps with associated symptoms
- Silicosis traditionally takes many years to develop, but some workers in Turkey contracted silicosis in months
- In 2009 the Turkish government banned sandblasting of jeans, and in 2011 it agreed to pay disability allowances to those unable to work as a result of silicosis
- Sandblasting is permitted within the EU and the US, but the amount of silica must be below 1% in the EU and below 0.5% in the US
His factory has some sandblasting machines which he is happy to show and demonstrate – but he insists they are no longer in use.
“We have stopped sandblasting totally… The sandblasting unit is absolutely closed, it is under lock and key – this section is not being used nowadays.”
“Everything is visible, nothing is secret,” he says.
“Buyers are employing a lot of manpower for auditing this sort of thing… there are evaluations without notice. Sometimes in the evenings, buyers suddenly come.”
The Clean Clothes Campaign wants the European Union to ban the import of any clothes produced using the sandblasting technique, and for the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization to add sandblasting in the garment industry to their lists of hazardous occupations.
They also argue that companies should provide medical help for any workers who may have contracted silicosis.
“It is not really enough to say ‘From now on, we won’t do it,’” says Sam Maher. “They also need to take responsibility for those workers that have already been made ill… without treatment, they are going to suffer a fairly horrific death.”
No-one knows how many people around the world could have contracted silicosis as a result of making distressed jeans.
Because there is no history of it within the garment industry, doctors are unlikely to diagnose it among workers in that sector. Campaigners say many cases are likely to have been mistaken for tuberculosis. The symptoms are similar – indeed it is common for a person to suffer from both at the same time.
Levi Strauss & Co told the BBC it was not aware of a single case of silicosis among any worker within its supply chain, and said that before the ban come into place, work was done according to the strictest safety standards.Distressing jeans by hand is a safer method than sandblasting
Orsola de Castro, Founder and Creative Director of the ethical fashion label From Somewhere, argues that consumers also have a role to play.
“Clothes don’t magically come from trees,” she says. “There is a supply chain behind it, and there are real human beings behind our jeans.”
One way of cracking down would be to introduce a labelling system to identify denim that has not been sandblasted – though this would take time to implement.
Much simpler would be for consumers to stop buying distressed jeans, says Orsola de Castro.
“I believe that distressed denim will be seen as one of the great madnesses of this generation… a sign of fast fashion at its most ridiculous.”
“I don’t think it can be a badge of pride, I think it needs to be a badge of shame.”
Sean Jean and ENYCE You are just as complicit as Walmart in killing for your Hipsters
This is why we don’t support any of the brands that have been listed in this article. We see no pride in paying less for clothes which will be sewn in blood and dyed with death. This year why not go the green route and Stop Buying Labels; Which Support This Death Cycle.
Instead of just talking the talk, start walking the walk – Stop trying to be HIP and start being A HUMAN. Stop Being Fashionable and start being Aware. Stop this never changing cycle of death, and become a part of the solution. Just Say No More Sweatshop Wear. NO MORE Sweatshops and No More Walmart Smileys of Deaths.
With That we encourage you to think green, and stop wearing Distressed Jeans.
Just Say NO MORE Deathwear