AGI Denim Expands Into Non
Jun 23, 2023
Artistic Garment Industries (AGI Denim) made a new investment that will help the vertical denim manufacturer churn out an additional 20,000 units per day.
The Karachi, Pakistan-based B Corp announced this week a $30 million investment in the first phase of a new LEED Platinum-certified Apparel Park. Equipped with responsible manufacturing technologies, the new cut-to-pack composite unit will be capable of producing new apparel categories in addition to the jeans the company is known for, such as non-denim woven bottoms.
In phase 2, the company will build and integrate a state-of-the-art laundry with a capacity of 20,000 units and an additional sewing facility producing up to 10,000 units daily.
Apparel Park is scheduled to be competed by Q2 2024 and fully operational by Q3 2024.
Henry Wong, AGI Denim’s VP product development and marketing (North America), said clients sourcing denim jeans have often asked AGI about non-denim woven apparel, particularly bottoms. “Pakistan has a strong track record in producing this category, including flat front chinos, cargo shorts and pants, and other washed woven bottoms,” he said. “Clients used to our service level and value-add on the denim jeans side have expressed interest in the same for their wovens programs so it felt like a natural growth area for us. It leverages our experience in casual bottoms development and production as well as wash expertise.”
Industry 4.0 systems feature into the facility’s development. Apparel Park will have an automated sewing hanger system to improve efficiencies and reduce staffing. It will also include automatic sewing machines, contributing to energy-efficient manufacturing practices.
To maintain a streamlined workflow, AGI stated that the facility’s infrastructure is “designed to promote a production flow where every step of the manufacturing process will transition smoothly from one to the next.” To support this, each garment will be barcoded for product-level traceability.
For AGI, the Apparel Park is an opportunity to build out its responsible manufacturing ecosystem. The company recently committed to use Good Earth Cotton’s traceable regenerative cotton for its denim. Previous transformative projects include an end-to-end LEED-certified value chain with facilities including a spinning mill, denim mill and a garment unit designed to the green-building standard.
Apparel Park will operate on 25 percent renewable energy sourced from solar panels that move with the sun. Rainwater harvesting and a greywater recycling system will support AGI’s water conservation efforts. The recycled water will be further used for domestic purposes like plantation. A post-industrial waste sorting and collection system will be implemented to ensure a smooth mechanical recycling workflow.
Other sustainable efforts include a plan to eliminate their usage of paper and the installation of low-energy LED lighting, modern ventilation systems and design infrastructure to allow natural light through large windows to enhance utility efficiency and improve the temperature. Approximately 10 percent of Apparel Park will be designated for green areas, which will also be integrated within the manufacturing facilities.
Measures to foster equal working opportunities and an inclusive workforce will be implemented as well. AGI said Apparel Park will have a dedicated floor with a 70 percent female workforce. It is has also arranged to support individuals with special needs and transgender individuals.
Additionally, the company plans to implement digital payments for all workers to promote efficiency and transparency. AGI said the goal is to provide comprehensive benefits such as micro-loans and healthcare services through digital platforms, which are gaining momentum in apparel manufacturing.
Pakistan’s leaders in denim are venturing into new categories. In 2022, Artistic Milliners expanded its portfolio with Artmill. The facility produces woven fabrics that cater to consumer interest in clothing that is comfortable and suits a variety of occasions.
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