Italian fashion house Gianni Versace has banned the use of sandblasting techniques on its jeans following mounting pressure from activists.
The controversial sandblasting method, in which workers blast sand at high pressure onto fabrics, is dangerous to workers and has been known to lead to death. Retailers and brands including New Look, H&M, Levi’s and Marks & Spencer have already banned the process with Diesel, Primark, Next and George at Asda also phasing out sandblasted products.
A two month campaign was launched by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) on Change.org with more than 1,200 people joining the campaign. As a result Versace conducted a review of its suppliers and has said all suppliers will be banned from using the method.
In a letter to Change.org, spokesman Tomaso Galli said: “Following more recent CCC’s comments on Versace’s practices, the company decided to study the issue in depth again and concluded, in agreement with CCC, that it is appropriate to take a proactive stance, and stand against the practice of sandblasting.
“Versace has specifically asked every supplier (and will ask any new supplier as a condition to work with Versace) to certify that they are not using sandblasting.”
Meredith Slater, an organizer at Change.org, said: “Versace customers called on the company to ban a practice that endangered workers, and the company responded by saying that it would not only ban the practice, but stand up for the elimination of sandblasting throughout the industry.”
Earlier on this month Versace de-activated its Facebook wall after it was bombarded with messages by from activists protesting against the technique.