Your Distressed Jeans Are Probably Made By Distressed Workers

Abby Zimet

Breathless for Blue Jeans, a new report on conditions in six denim factories in the Chinese province of Guangdong that make half of the world’s blue jeans, finds that sandblasting to "distress" the fabric is still widespread despite most Western brands banning the practice because of its link to silicosis and other deadly lung ailments. More on the hazards workers face from chemicals and "black dust," and the campaign by several advocacy groups to ban sandblasting and improve brutal working conditions.

"The temperature on the shop floor is high. It is difficult to breathe. I feel like I’m working in a coal mine.”

To find jeans made in the U.S.A:


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: