Raquel Vega Art Director

The Real Distress

AD: Raquel Vega

CW: Shruthi Subramanian

The fashion industry might call it the “distressed” denim look, but it’s not the jeans that are distressed—it’s the people working in the textile factories. Countless workers are surrounded with hazardous chemicals and equipment to give jeans that smouldering hot, distressed and worn look, and they aren’t even proportionately compensated for their work.

We want the world to see the real distress behind this trend.


To give the world a glimpse at “real distress”, we gave workers pairs of jeans to distress by simply wearing them.


By partnering up with an ethical denim brand, we uncovered workers’ stories of struggle through our website. Anyone can shop the real distress and directly fund and support local labour empowerment campaigns.

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