Through its farm-to-fashion cotton traceability project with vertically integrated denim and apparel manufacturer Artistic Milliners, blockchain start-up Retraced is able to trace every single kilogram of cotton from farm to final garment. This transparency is increasingly important for the fashion industry with consumers demanding more information about the origin and journey of the products they buy.
Launched earlier this year, the project now includes 500 cotton farmers in Pakistans Rahim Yar Khan region in Punjab who have been equipped with a mobile app for managing their cotton sowing, picking and shipment to track the lifecycle of cotton to the ginner. From there, the cotton can be digitally discerned into different shipments and qualities.
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 is then 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.
The new app will digitise processes further and make information available more quickly and efficiently.
“While most of our partner companies are currently using our platform for features like supplier assessments, supply chain mapping, vendor management, stakeholder- and end-consumer-communication, this new progressive traceability function is a real game-changer for every thought-leading fashion and textile company in the industry,” says Retraced in a statement.
The new app allows farmers to digitise information about each of the processes. From there, it can be picked up, shared and used by all suppliers in the value chain, like the ginning mill, spinning mill, weaving mill, and all other companies involved.
“Fashion supply chains are highly complex and, therefore, the verification of raw materials is a huge challenge for every fashion and textile company. There’s only one way to identify the source of a product down to the raw material, and that requires the engagement of all participants within the supply chain,” adds Retraced.
“Considering the magnitude of this project, we had to make sure that we linked up with the right company. After careful deliberation, we chose to partner with Retraced. Retraced is a dynamic blockchain company run by highly capable individuals. We are working hand in glove with them 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 as well as our brand partners,” says Omer Ahmed, CEO of Artistic Milliners.
The company was founded in Pakistan in 1949 and has grown from a small retail store to one of the top denim manufacturers in the world that focuses on denim innovation and sustainability, Artistic Milliners recently acquired a laundry and finishing facility in Los Angeles.