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Industry Talk

Artistic Milliners and Laroche plan Circular Park

The new facility will serve as a central collection point for all of the company's primarily cotton-based manufacturing waste, as well as some post-consumer waste.

1st March 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Online

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Leading denim manufacturer Artistic Milliners is planning a recycled cotton operation it expects to add three million square metres of additional denim capacity to its production each month.

The company is partnering with French recycling machinery specialist Laroche to build the Circular Park on 70,000 square feet of land in the Karachi region of Pakistan, which will serve as the company’s central collection point for all of its primarily cotton-based manufacturing waste, as well as some post-consumer waste. Laroche will equip the Central Park with the latest automated shredding machines.

Interviewed during the 24 Flash Kingpins by event founder Andrew Olah, Artistic’s CEO Omer Ahmed said the company had found issues with the sustainable fibres that were readily available to use for denim production at scale.

“Organic cotton is too expensive, and in my opinion always will be,” he said. “Cottonized hemp is also not cheap and it’s hard to mix with cotton, while the new regenerated cellulose fibres that are now emerging are promising, but currently in short supply. Recycled polyester is meanwhile still based on petroleum resources which we want to move away from. As a consequence, there are only a few other options for us as a manufacturer and this new project will help us minimise our own waste while significantly lowering our carbon footprint.

“It will push up the recycled content of our denim to five million metres per month. As a B2B operation there will be a minimal up-charge to our customers, and it is now our goal to convince them this is necessary, because it will truly cut down waste within our processes.”

Laroche is a leader in both post-industrial and post-consumer waste recycling machines, added area sales manager Charles Juncker.

“Like Artistic we are a vertically-integrated company from the steel to the final assembly and we don’t sub-contract because we really want to do things ourselves in order to fully control quality,” he said. “We have a lot of experience in working with customers to find markets for their waste, especially in nonwovens for the automotive, furniture and insulation markets. At our Cours La Ville technical centre in France we operate all of our different machines to help customers fully develop the products they will make from their waste. As such, we offer turnkey solution to our customers and we are pleased to partner with Artistic Milliners in what is an important first for recycling in Pakistan.”

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