Joint ban on sandblasting

Joint ban on sandblasting of textiles

Sandblasting is a technique used to give garments, in particular denim, a used or worn-out look. In 2006, media reports drew attention to studies that highlighted serious health risks to workers from unprotected use of this technique. In 2010 H&M together with Levi Strauss & Co. enforced a ban on sandblasting for all products and we encourage others to do the same.

Back in 2006, we immediately implemented strict protection requirements for suppliers when using sandblasting. We supported this with training for suppliers using sandblasting and monitored compliance with our requirements through our audit programme.

Even with these protective measures, we felt the need to minimise further the risks to workers in our own and other companies’ supply chains. As a result, we decided to stop buying and retailing any products that used sandblasting with effect from December 2010. Instead, alternative techniques such as manual scraping canl be used to achieve the same effects. To encourage other companies to join this ban, we teamed up with Levi Strauss & Co. and together, announced a global ban on sandblasting for all of our products and brands. We are happy to see that other big companies have since declared a similar ban.

In 2012, we have further strengthened our requirements and now allow production for H&M to only take place in factories that are entirely sandblasting-free and thus do not even perform sandblasting for any other brand.

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