101 East

Denim Blues

The Chinese city of Xintang, known as the world’s jeans capital, is home to an industry tainted by labour rights abuses.

What does it take to produce a pair of jeans?

101 East travels to the Chinese city of Xintang, known as the jeans capital of the world, and exposes a dirty, dangerous industry.

We find workers risking their health while sandblasting jeans, a controversial process that makes denim look fashionably worn but which causes irreversible damage to workers’ lungs.

We witness the devastating destruction the denim industry is wreaking on the environment.

Several big-name brands, including Levi Strauss, have pledged to end sandblasting, but this undercover investigation reveals that the harmful practice continues in China, putting workers’ lives at risk.

So what is the real cost behind the making of a pair of jeans? And what is the role of the world’s leading denim companies in producing this iconic wardrobe staple?

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