Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland launch Deadly Denim Campaign
Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland, a coalition organisation that highlights injustices in the global garment sector, was set up in 2010 by Re-dress, Trócaire, MANDATE, ICTU and Cómhlámh to promote and campaign for fair and transparent labour practices within the global clothing supply chain.
Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland is part of an international alliance of organisations, NGO’s, and trade unions operating in 16 European countries with a network of over 200 global partners covering a broad spectrum of perspectives and interests, such as women’s rights, consumer advocacy and poverty reduction.
The Clean Clothes Campaign Ireland works together with these partners to conduct research into conditions for workers on the factory floors in garment producing countries and examine retailer policies and business practices that affect them. We lobby retailers, brands and governments on behalf of garment workers identifying local problems and objectives, and help develop campaign strategies to support workers in achieving their goals.
Developed to highlight the issues that most urgently need our attention we are focusing on a number of campaigns, all of which call on actions by members of the public to show their support and solidarity for human rights defenders in garment producing countries. The "Deadly Denim" focusses on the fatal practices, for workers, of sandblasting jeans. Sandblasting is a process which has been linked to the fatal lung disease silicosis, according to the International Labour Organisation [ILO] silicosis kills thousands of people every year, everywhere in the world. Traditionally a process used in the mining and construction industry, sandblasting has been introduced into the garment production stream since the trend for ‘pre-worn’ or distressed denim became popular in the 1990s. While miners could be expected to develop silicosis after 20 years exposure, due to the lack of regulations, health and safety standards and the intensity of production, silicosis has been diagnosed in garment workers after as little as 6 months exposure.
The "Deadly Denim" campaign is a public campaign which calls on the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore, to implement a ban on the importation of sandblasted denim products into Ireland. The campaign also calls on Eamonn Gilmore, who is also acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the OSCE, to lead the call for an EU ban of the same and call on Ireland to implement the ban during Ireland's presidency of the EU in 2013.
Brian Forbes of Mandate trade union, one of the organisations' members commented:
“Urgent appeals do what they say on the tin … they call the public , retailers or the government into urgent action when the human rights of an individual(s) working in the garment industry are violated. They range from petition signing, letters to retailers ...and have been proven as a successful way to effect change and raise awareness when it’s most needed.”
However, most importantly the campaigns call on consumers to take action and support the drive for change and betterment in the garment industry.
More information on this campaign can be found in our resources section.
Keep watching this space for more information on this and other campaigns.
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