Artistic Milliners, Retraced Create a plan for digital traceability – Sourcing Journal
Technology has played a crucial role in fashion’s evolution towards full transparency. Mapping the denim supply chain is almost impossible without it, as cotton is a notoriously opaque industry. Supply chain management software solution Retraced reports that a pair of jeans can contain cotton from up to 1,000 farmers from different continents.
This reality serves as the motivation behind a new partnership between the blockchain-based platform and Pakistan-based denim factory Artistic Milliners, which has teamed up to launch a farm-to-garment cotton traceability solution. Through this partnership, all supply chain partners are digitally connected, allowing them to exchange data on a single platform.
The project is part of the milliner Cotton Initiative (MCI) of the mill and will digitize and track cotton shipments directly from Rahim Yar Khan’s farms in Pakistan, which in turn will compensate individual farmers for de best cotton growing and harvesting practices. Artistic Milliners launched their MCI project in 2019 to promote the visibility and empowerment of women throughout the cotton supply chain. It also encompasses capacity building of ginners and promotes practices to mitigate extortion.
Farmers participating in the project will be equipped with a mobile application to manage their cotton sowing, picking and shipping in order to follow the cotton life cycle. It is then sent to the ginner who, using the app, is able to digitally discern between the different cotton shipments and assess their quality.
The labeled cotton is sent to Artistic Milliners for spinning, dyeing, weaving and “ cut-make-trim ”, through which it will continue to be traced. From there, the cotton yarn will be transformed into denim for brands around the world, which will be able to offer greater transparency to their consumers.
“Traceability is an industry-wide challenge, and only with a platform that connects everyone can we address it,” said Lukas Puunder, co-founder and CEO of Retraced. “With the MCI project of Artistic Milliners, we are implementing real-time fiber tracing as it should, from the bottom up following the natural flow of the material. The objective of this project should be to create the model for fully digital traceability. It’s an exciting development for fashion.
Ethical brands like Boyish Jeans are implementing the technology. Last summer, the brand added the blockchain-based transparency plugin Retraced to its e-commerce website, offering consumers a detailed report on its sustainable supply chain partners. It set out to map its entire supply chain so that every product page contains the plugin.
Omer Ahmed, CEO of Artistic Milliners, has big partnership plans and urges denim industry players and consumers to know the source of their cotton.
“Transparency and accountability throughout the supply chain is the need of the hour and what we take seriously at AM,” said Ahmed. “Our ambition is to have full traceability from farm to fashion.”