Cotton traceability through new Retraced app


A new start-up firm is tracing every kilogram of cotton from farm to final garment. Retraced through its app bringing cotton traceability project from farm-to-fashion with vertically integrated denim and apparel manufacturer Artistic Milliners.

This transparency is more and more important for the fashion industry with consumers looking for more information about the origin and supply chain of the fashion they are purchasing.

Launched in the beginning of 2021, the project now includes 500 cotton farmers in Pakistan’s Rahim Yar Khan region in Punjab who have been armed with a mobile app for handling their cotton sowing, picking and shipment to track the lifecycle of cotton to the ginner.

From there, the cotton can be digitally distinguished into diverse 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 digitize processes further and make information available more quickly and efficiently.

Figure: Retraced process. Courtesy: Retraced

The new app allows farmers to digitize 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.

“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.