RiverBlue explores how the fashion industry is destroying our rivers

Documentary film explores solutions for a sustainable future and encourages viewers to look at how their clothing is made.

The North Columbia Environmental Society is screening RiverBlue on Feb.8. The film exploring the connection between the fashion industry and river pollution.

Many Revelstoke residents are known for having both a unique fashion sense and a strong commitment to reducing their environmental footprint. On Thursday, Feb. 8 the North Columbia Environmental Society is screening RiverBlue, an award-winning documentary, which spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion; 

Following international river conservationist, Mark Angelo, and narrated by clean water supporter Jason Priestley, this ground-breaking documentary examines the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future by speaking with fashion designers and water protectors, RiverBlue encourages you to look at how your clothing is made.  Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, one of our favorite iconic products has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. RiverBlue brings awareness to the destruction of some of the world’s most vital rivers through the manufacturing of our clothing, but also acts as a demand for significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that can make a difference.

The film journeys through some of the world’s most pristine waterways to some of its most polluted, taking viewers for a behind the scenes look at a major, yet tragically under-reported, water pollution problem. Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, the manufacturing of our clothing is destroying rivers globally.

RiverBlue takes viewers on a behind the scenes look at some of the world’s most polluted rivers.

RiverBlue’s journey to the screen began three years ago when producer, Roger Williams, started looking at water-based, environmental documentary topics. Roger and Mark Angelo had just completed a project for Global TV called Water for Life, a retrospective look at Angelo’s life and work on rivers.

“Mark really spurred me on to thinking about water in a different way,” said Williams.

Roger realized after the success of Water for Life, he wanted to delve deeper into the global water situation and document the state of rivers around the world.

“I came up with a theme, but I hadn’t come up with the “story”, so I contacted a director/writer friend of mine, David McIlvride,” said Williams, “and it was Dave that said I think it should be about blue jeans”.

McIlvride worked to hone the story down and help with research. During that research he came across an image of a river in China called the Pearl River.

“[I]t was a shot from space and you could see the river had turned blue. It was an indigo blue and it was all from the pollution of making blue jeans. I thought to myself, ah, blue jeans, this is a singular focus that maybe we can hinge this environmental river project about,” said McIlvride .

Making this story about textiles, about the clothes we buy and how that affects rivers globally,connects all of us here in North America to people around the world.

“I think it turns out to be a way to take the river conservation message to a brand new audience, and a much broader audience, this is something that all of us can relate to because we all buy clothes,”said Angelo.

“Blue jeans are that iconic item that everybody owns, and they are actually a bit of a problem,” said Williams.

The filming of RiverBlue has been an around world journey, spanning over three years, 10

countries and 11 rivers.  It was important to the production team to find leaders in the fields of water and river pollution, textile manufacturing, clothing design and environmental sustainability.

Williams will be available at the event to answer questions and discuss the issues further.

The screening of RiverBlue takes place at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, Feb. 8th with doors opening at 6p.m. Tickets are available online here , downtown at Valhalla Pure Outfitters (213 Mackenzie Ave.) for $10, or $12 at the door.  Check out the Facebook event page for more information.