Pakistani denim specialist Artistic Milliners buys factory in Los Angeles
Ever since early 2020, the pathways of textile sourcing have become complex. While not entirely jettisoning their Asian trading partners, a number of European and US labels and distributors are diversifying their supply sources. Conversely, several textile sourcing heavyweights in China, Bangladesh and Pakistan are questioning their manufacturing strategies, seeing that their clients are unable to visit them.
Leading Pakistani denim specialist Artistic Milliners, a vertically integrated producer with spinning, weaving, dyeing and garment manufacturing capabilities, has decided to draw closer to its US clientèle, and has bought a factory in Commerce, California, with a declared output capacity of 100,000 units per month. The factory’s new name is Star Fades International (SFI).
“This acquisition gives us a strategic foothold in the US, in a region with significant geographic and demographic advantages,” said Murtaza Ahmed, founder of SFI and executive director of Artistic Milliners, cited in a press release. “California has historically been an important cornerstone for the international denim industry. In 2021, we anticipate increased demand from international retailers and brands for near-shoring capacity, digital design services and sustainable solutions. Our investment in this factory gives us a launch platform in the US to meet that demand, as we build the factory of the future,” added Ahmed.
The value of the operation was not disclosed, but Artistic Milliners’ ambitions are clear. The Pakistani group plans to rapidly step up SFI’s production capacity to 300,000 units per month, having retained part of the factory's technology know-how, as a base to expand its output.
“The SFI acquisition serves as a major leap in Artistic Milliners’ evolution as a truly global denim company, since it adds multiple dimensions to our operating model,” says Omer Ahmed, CEO of Artistic Milliners and co- founder of SFI. “Not only does it give our brand partners a US-based manufacturing option, but also serves as a nucleus for co-creation and collaboration from fibre to garment at a scale and depth never witnessed before in our industry.”
Artistic Milliners is based in Karachi, Pakistan, and has a presence in Dubai and the USA. In 2018, it claimed a processing capacity of 1.8 million denim items per month.
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