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Artistic Milliners acquires LA denim factory

Artistic Milliners, a global leader in denim fabric and garments headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan, has acquired a denim factory in Commerce, California, with plans to invest in the facility to grow it into a state-of-the-art design and production hub based on Supply Chain 4.0 principles.

Under the new name Star Fades International (SFI), the business continues to provide wash and finishing services to a customer roster that ranges from large international retailers to specialty premium labels.

“This acquisition gives us a strategic foothold in the USA, in a region with significant geographic and demographic advantages,” says Murtaza Ahmed, founder of SFI and executive director at Artistic Milliners. “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 to meet that demand as we build the factory of the future.”

As the first Pakistani denim company with an operational factory in Los Angeles, Artistic Milliners is raising the profile of Pakistan as a sourcing destination. The new factory expands the company’s global footprint and accelerates the company’s speed-to-market capabilities, while providing design-at-source at a time when businesses have curtailed travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SFI’s growth strategy rests on the solid foundation of a denim washhouse with a well-established reputation for quality service, leading-edge technology and a local team with extensive denim experience. It is currently able to process 100,000 units per month and plans are underway to increase that capacity to 300,000 units monthly.

The facility currently offers a range of wet and dry processing capabilities, as well as sustainable finishing technologies, including lasers, e-flow and ozone machines, to create authentic and innovative finishes while reducing the amount of water and chemicals used in a typical denim laundry.

Many of the laundry’s longtime staff has been retained, including Tony Rodriguez, who has been named Chief Operating Officer of SFI.

“Business has been steady in 2020, despite the pandemic, and we’ve seen no slowdown during the transition to SFI,” Rodriguez said. “We are looking forward to expanding our capabilities and capacities for existing customers and potential new business.”

SFI is backed by the robust vertical offerings of parent company Artistic Milliners, the largest denim exporter in Pakistan. It can offer retailers, manufacturers and brands turnkey solutions for their denim programmes or can tailor custom offerings for start-up and premium labels.

“Not only does this acquisition give our brand partners a US-based manufacturing option but it will also serve as the nucleus for co-creation and collaboration from fibre to garment at a scale and depth never witnessed before in our industry,” said Artistic Milliners CEO Omer Ahmed.

Artistic Milliners has acquired a denim factory in Commerce, California, with plans to invest in the facility to grow it into a state-of-the-art design and production hub.

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