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Traceable (2014)

11 Nov

http://raindancefestival.org/features-2014/traceable/

This documentary examines the fashion industry process, and its conscience, from a designers’ perspective.

This environmental documentary has a powerful ethical story to tell and makes even the most exhausted eye-rollers sit up and listen.

The 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh put faces on the term ‘garment factory workers’. With this as a backdrop, ‘Traceable’ looks at the local communities behind clothing industries that have retained distinctive crafts for generations. ‘Traceability’ is the aim to have a proper trail for every single step in the supply chain. As well as where, it wants consumers to be concerned with how garments are made. Thousands of hands in the process go untraceable because many farmers, seamstresses and printers simply do not have the technology to be contacted by email or phone.

Director Jennifer Sharpe follows Laura Seigel, a young designer fighting to connect the design world with anonymous artisans. Most designers do not have the time or enough commitment to nurture a direct relationship with the people who make their clothes. This documentary is partly anthropological, as Seigel designs with the creators hand-to-hand and negotiates with them on their own turf. Without being patronising or naive, ‘Traceable’ captures equal and harmonious working partnerships.

 

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