Everyday Activist - Traceable

Posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 11:00 PM

Review: Traceable

Movie Review by Everyday ActivistCalgaryMovies.com

Celebrate Fashion Revolution Day with Traceable

What do fashionistas and hikers have in common? We like our clothes. We like them even more when they made in a way that’s socially responsible. Just in time for Fashion Revolution Day on April 24th 2015, the documentary Traceable, will be available on MTV, M3, Bravo and E! at 8:00 PM EST across Canada. If you follow film festivals in Alberta, you may have heard of this one, since its World Premiere was in September 2014 at the Edmonton International Film Festival. We got to see it in Calgary last November as it opened for the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival. The Calgary screening brought some special guests to discuss some of the technologies mentioned in the movie and how Mountain Equipment Co-op purchases clothes for its stores. Earlier that month, Yvon Chouinard, who started the company Patagonia, was at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film Festival, talking about Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability.

Traceable follows young Canadian designer Laura Siegel as she launches her fall/winter collection, heading to India to get to know her suppliers and clothing manufacturers. My heart went out to her, because having been to India, I can understand the stress of doing business with Indian people, which we see happen in the movie. Time has a different value in India, everything is always late. Always. Towards the end of the movie your heart is in your throat, hoping that she will finish her project on time, despite all of the setbacks. I was stressed out watching it all unfold, I can’t imagine how she felt.

Ok so Indians tend to be late to deliver, but we can forgive them because when they do deliver, the quality meets expectations and let’s face it, handmade takes time. To be fair, especially in the case of hand blocking prints, weather also plays a role in a place where climate control isn’t the norm. In terms of social justice, women were able to make their own money via their embroidery skills. The film does a great job of showcasing the various artisans practicing their craft, keeping age old traditions alive, in a time when mechanized processes own the market.

Good documentaries always have an expert. This one is no exception. In the movie, Dr. Leo Bonanni discusses traceability and transparency in the garment industry using Sourcemap, a social networking technology, he designed to connect manufacturers to suppliers across various industries. Not only does it connect people, it also has real time monitoring and reporting, as well as tracking the social, financial and environmental risks. Calgary audiences were able to speak with him in person when he came to the film screening.

For once, MTV might actually have something worth watching on April 24th at 8 pm EST. Set your PVRs if you can’t watch it live. I will watch it again to support great Canadian film, in hopes that good ratings will translate into more film makers having the confidence to create high quality documentaries.

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NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.