Retraced GmbH (“Retraced”), a sustainable supply chain management platform for fashion, has started a new partnership with Artistic Milliners, a vertically integrated denim and apparel manufacturer headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan. As part of the Milliner Cotton Initiative (MCI) led by Artistic Milliners (also see here), the project aims to reach a complete bottom-up solution for tracing and real-time tracking of cotton moving along the value chain until it is transformed into apparel.
The goal is that all the value chain partners will be digitally connected, will be able to exchange data on one platform and work collaboratively towards a more transparent and sustainable supply chain.
The initiative also has the ambition to enable brands and consumers to trace Milliner Cotton products back to the source, getting a full overview of the value chain and its production standards.
Through this project, Artistic Milliners aims to digitalize the cotton value chain in Pakistan, and help cotton farmers earn a fair living. To achieve this, Retraced has built a traceability solution that tracks and follows the natural flow of materials in real-time.
Photo: Artistic Milliners/Retraced
Artistic Milliners x Retraced project infographic
The Retraced application will be distributed to all key stakeholders in the value chain. It involves 500 cotton farmers in the Rahim Yar Khan region of Pakistan who will be equipped with a mobile application for managing their cotton sowing, picking and shipment to track the lifecycle of cotton to the ginner.
The ginner–also equipped with the Retraced application–will be able to digitally discern between the different cotton shipments and assess their quality. The tagged cotton will then be sent to the Artistic Milliners in-house spinning, dyeing, weaving and cut-make-trim facility in Karachi, where it will continue to be traced via a Retraced system integration.
The cotton thread will then be manufactured into denim fabric and apparel for clothing brands around the world. These brands can, in turn, use the data to evaluate the apparel’s production standards and communicate the source of the clothing to their consumers.
With a mobile app the cotton sowing, picking and shipment can be managed to track the lifecycle of cotton to the ginner.
“Transparency in cotton supply chains is long overdue and necessary basis for ethical supply chain management, environmental sustainability or circularity. Often, cotton from up to 1,000 farmers from different continents are mixed in one single pair of jeans. And little is known about who, where, and what happens,” says Lukas Pünder, co-founder and CEO, Retraced. “Traceability is an industry-wide challenge, and only with a platform that connects everyone, we can address that. With Artistic Milliners MCI project, we aim to create the blueprint for fully digitalized traceability.”
“Transparency and accountability across the supply chain are the need of the hour and something we at Artistic Milliners take seriously. Our ambition is to have complete traceability from farm to fashion. We chose to work with Retraced to launch a traceability interface which is user-friendly and one which we hope will eventually become the most widely adopted by our fellow suppliers and our brand partners,” says Omer Ahmed, CEO of Artistic Milliners.