Retraced’s blockchain-based solution will enable complete bottom-up traceability for cotton picked from 500 farms across Pakistan, offering transparency, fiber provenance and farmer empowerment
Retraced GmbH (“retraced”) , a sustainable supply chain management platform for fashion, has announced a new partnership with Artistic Milliners, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated denim and apparel manufacturers, headquartered in Karachi. As part of the Milliner Cotton Initiative (MCI) led by Artistic Milliners, the project will aid the digitalization of more than 500 cotton farmers, ensuring that they are compensated for delivering high-quality cotton. The project will entail a complete bottom-up traceability solution that enables the tracing and real-time tracking of cotton moving along each value chain step until it is transformed into the final apparel. All the value chain partners will be digitally connected, allowing them to exchange data on one platform, and work collaboratively towards a more transparent and sustainable value chain. The project will 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.
Fully Digitalized Supply Chains Allowing for Complete Traceability
Through this project, Artistic Milliners will digitalize the entire cotton value chain in Pakistan, and help cotton farmers earn fair livelihoods. In order to achieve this, retraced has built a traceability solution that tracks and follows the natural flow of materials in real-time. The retraced application will be distributed to all key stakeholders in the value chain. This starts on the farm level. 500 cotton farmers in the Rahim Yar Khan region of Pakistan 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 the 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.
Traceability in cotton supply chains is a current hot topic in the fashion industry, whereby greater awareness has led to the criticism of forced labor in various parts of the world. The need to know where and under what conditions fibers are sourced is escalating and key stakeholders are looking for solutions that address these ethical concerns. With this new traceability project, Artistic Milliners and retraced is inviting you to “Know-Your-Cotton” better. The increased connectivity and digitalization will help deliver authentic data throughout the value chain. This will ensure better cotton origin assurances, improved visibility of the value chain, and more awareness about the sustainable cotton journey. .
“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. Traceability is an industry-wide challenge, and only with a platform that connects everyone, we can address that,” says Lukas Pünder, co-founder and CEO of retraced. “With Artistic Milliners MCI project, we are implementing real-time fiber tracing the way it should be – from the bottom up following the natural flow of the material. The objective of this project has to be to create the blueprint for fully digitalized traceability. It’s an exciting development for fashion.”
The retraced application is being built on Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud platform and Autonomous infrastructure, ensuring greater data security, immutability, and reliability for Artistic Milliners’ cotton value chain.
A Strategic Partnership to Encourage More Responsible Supply Chains
“Transparency and accountability across the supply chain are the need of the hour and something we at AM take seriously. Our ambition is to have complete traceability from farm to fashion. 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.
Artistic Milliners’ MCI program was launched in 2019 with the aim to help bolster the Pakistan cotton trade, empower cotton farmers, and address contamination and quality issues. MCI works with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to set up livelihood projects to help farmers supplement income from farming. This latest traceability aims to put a spotlight on the farmers for better picking practices, encouraging others to follow suit. In addition, farmer’s activities will become digitized, allowing for greater oversight, and operational effectiveness. The increased level of transparency and traceability will help Artistic Milliners monitor and achieve their ethical and environmental value chain goals.