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Oxfam welcomes Just Group ban on sandblasted jeans
23
Sep '11
Oxfam welcomes Just Group's public announcement banning the purchase of sandblasted jeans.

The company has committed to sell out all remaining stock and not place any further orders for sandblasted jeans. The Just Group brands include Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Dotti, Portmans and Jacqui E.

Oxfam Australia has been calling on the company to ban the dangerous denim finishing technique and demonstrate that its overseas suppliers are not putting their workers' health at risk. Sandblasting is known to cause silicosis — a pulmonary disease caused by the inhalation of silica dust, which has resulted in dozens of documented fatalities.

“Just Group has taken an important first step today,” said Oxfam Australia's Director of Policy James Ensor.

“We will continue to encourage Just Group to implement the other five steps of the ban, in particular ensuring that workers who were exposed to sandblasting receive medical checks.

“We also encourage Just Group to improve transparency in its operations by publishing a list of its supplier factories. Without this transparency it is not possible to externally verify the conditions for workers making Just Group products.”

Just Group joins global brands, including Levi Strauss, Gucci, Benetton and Esprit that have banned the dangerous practices of sandblasting. Some of the companies are making good progress towards fully implementing the ban—hiring health and safety specialists, changing product designs and providing training so that local staff and buyers can deal with sandblasting issues.

“Oxfam is encouraging all Australian retailers selling denim products to follow Just Group's example and implement a ban on sandblasting,” said Mr Ensor.

Oxfam Australia

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