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Target to stop offering sandblasted denims by 2012-end
Mar '12
Global retail chain Target has announced that by close of the current year it would cease selling all products that have been sandblasted.

Sandblasting is a technique wherein crystalline silica is blast onto blue jeans or other fabrics with help of high-pressure machines to give them that faded look.

According to the Netherlands-based advocacy group Clean Clothes Campaign, which works for betterment of working conditions in world garment industry, though sandblasting bestows the jeans with a cool look, it certainly negatively impacts the garment workers engaged in the process, as breathing the air at a place where sandblasting is going on can cause deadly lung disease called silicosis.

Patty Reber, Director of Raw Materials Development for Product Design and Development at Target, said even while adhering to strict safety norms and with all the protective measures, garment workers are still exposed to negative consequences of sandblasting.

The Minneapolis-based retailer, which runs 1,762 outlets, has collaborated with Sustainable Apparel Coalition to probe into alternatives for sandblasting.

Target's move comes after similar announcements made by San Francisco based Levi Strauss & Co. and Swedish retailer H&M, who in September 2010 pooled resources to exercise a ban on sandblasting in their future products across the globe.

As per the analysis of the International Textile Garment and Leather Worker's Federation, 40 of around 7,000 workers who were exposed to crystalline silica in Turkey, died between 2005 and 2009, following which, in 2009 the Turkish Government imposed a nation-wide ban on use of crystalline silica.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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