With a planned production capacity of 600,000 pieces per month, the new factory will boost Artistic Milliners’ garment production by 30% to 43.2m pieces per year.

The facility joins the growing ecosystem of Artistic Milliners’ end-to-end vertical apparel manufacturing. It represents a US$60m investment to increase Artistic Milliners’ production output and, at the same time, make a substantial commitment to gender equity in employment.

The site, which Artistic Milliners says operates under a human resources strategy designed to promote inclusivity and equity, is located within the company’s AM-4 apparel park which spans some nine acres in Karachi and employs more than 10,500 workers.

“The opening of this facility is an opportunity to put into practice our vision for the future of apparel production,” says Murtaza Ahmed, Artistic Milliners’ managing director. “We see this as a model factory, one where the latest technological innovations in efficiency and sustainability meet the best employment practices in terms of women’s empowerment and well-being.”

Envisioned as a gender-inclusive and equitable workplace in line with the International Finance Corporation’s Family-Friendly Program, the facility’s employment will be predominantly female. The company plans 70% of the workforce to be women, including 50% of the middle-management staff. Many of these employees will be employed in non-traditional roles such as dry processing, pressing, and other departments, Artistic Milliners says.

Meanwhile, the new 500,000 sq ft facility is designed to be USGBC LEED Platinum level and features 850KW solar panels and advanced MBR (membrane bioreactor) water recycling technology to increase Artistic Milliners’ daily water recycling capacity to 1.5m gallons, helping the company reach its 90% recycling goal.

In line with Supply Chain 4.0 principles, the new smart factory is also equipped with the latest in garment industry automation, which digitises all factory processes and improves throughput time.

Designed to serve Artistic Milliners’ largest customers, the facility is already in operation and shipping products. It is on track to reach full capacity by the first quarter of 2023.