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The Price of “High Fashion”: Incurable Lung Disease

April 19, 2010

I just read about how the process to make blue jeans look “washed out” is done by sand-blasting the material. (Actually, I already knew this but, hey, it looks better if I make a big discovery!)

A study was done at the Dicle University School of Medicine, in Diyarbakir, Turkey and found that workers in an Istanbul factory who engaged in sandblasting that prematurely ages denim had a very high incidence of silicosis, an irreversible lung disease. Out of 60 workers whom they tested, 44 had silicosis! And these are young men, with an average age of 26, and the length of employment in the factory ranges from 2 months to 5 years.

Turkey needs to get with the program and improve conditions for their workers. But we in the U.S. and elsewhere should be aware of the costs of our demand for fashions that require dangerous processes.

You won’t have to look very hard to find other examples of hidden costs in the fashion world. Look in your closet, or better yet, in your jewelery box. There’s a lot of blood and guts in there.

I used the promo piece from one of my all time favorite movies, Desperately Seeking Susan.   The stars of the movie, Rosanna  Arquette and Madonna are two very classy ladies with great fashion sense. I just wonder if they consider the costs of their vanity and lifestyle.

I saw the movie by myself in Santa Cruz, CA back when it was first released in 1985. I will always remember the feeling I had driving home from that movie. I felt so liberated! Few movies have ever moved me like that. Thank you, Madonna and Rosanna and the sexy Aidan Quinn (oh boy). Madonna, I think this was your very best movie. You are not really noted for acting, I don’t think, but if you could recreate this role again, I think you could be an Oscar contender.

Click here for the article in “Science News” about silicosis in Turkish factory workers.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2011 6:10 am

    I know i was really shocked when i first found a post about the dangers of the sand blasted jeans and the deaths that it has caused.

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