"A textile worker takes a break at dawn after sanding jeans all night at a clothing factory in Guangdong Province, China. The blue dust from the jeans is a heavy irritant to the lungs. The factory where this worker is employed uses a wear-and-tear process to achieve the fashionable distressed look for the approximately 10,000 pairs of jeans it produces every day. Thousands of workers labor around the clock scrubbing, spraying, and tearing jeans in order to meet the production demand. China is one of the world's largest producers of jeans."
from this fascinating article at ehp, "waste couture: environmental impact of the clothing industry."