Newsmakers 2021: SFI Fortifies Los Angeles Denim Industry With Launch
After announcing its acquisition of a Los Angeles laundry earlier this year, Pakistan global denim firm Artistic Milliners saw its new West Coast arm flourish. Star Fades International hit the ground running with a blend of denim wash-and-finish veterans and design innovators.
“The legacy of the SFI team brings with it decades of experience in wet- and dry-process innovation,” Artistic Milliners Executive Director and SFI co-founder Murtaza Ahmed told California Apparel News. “SFI, under its previous owner, had been functioning for years as an independent laundry with a very strong reputation both for innovation and bulk execution.”
Growing from its parent company’s sustainable focus, SFI launched with applications such as laser finishing, e-flow and ozone systems. Through its reliance on the Browzwear 3D platform, the number of samples created during development was reduced.
The launch of SFI also took place during the time when the COVID-19 pandemic’s supply-chain challenges threatened—at times crippled—apparel-industry sourcing. The new company entered the industry as a fresh option for nearshoring services but chose Los Angeles due to the city’s longstanding reputation as a denim mecca.
“We chose L.A. as it has deep expertise when it comes to the art of jeans making and even today is the nexus for some of the most iconic premium-jeans brands in the world,” said Artistic Milliners Chief Executive Officer and SFI co-founder Omer Ahmed. “California is the birthplace of the modern jean, and so we have always drawn inspiration from there and will continue to do so.”