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Leading retailers axe denim sandblasting

Diesel, Primark, Next and George at Asda are among the companies phasing out sandblasted denim products after concerns mounted over the damage the process does to the health of those carrying it out. New Look, H&M, Levi’s and Marks & Spencer have already banned the process.

Pressure group Labour Behind the Label has called for retailers and brands to compensate workers who have been made ill from operating sandblasting machines in the past. The process of sandblasting, which gives denim a worn look, produces silica dust which can get into workers’ lungs and cause health issues including the onset of respiritatory disease silicosis.

Labour Behind the Label has called for sandblasted denim to be phased out by companies and rejected by consumers.

Matalan, which uses sandblasting on some of its denim products, told The Sunday Telegraph it was reviewing and monitoring the process.

Supermarket Asda said it aimed to phase our sandblasted products by the end of the year.

Denim brand Diesel said it would stop using sandblasting from early next year.

High street multiple Next confirmed it had stopped all new orders for sandblasted products

Value fashion giant Primark added that 90% of its suppliers would have stopped using the sandblasting process by the end of the year. It added that half of its suppliers had already halted the process.

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