Technology for Change: Indigenous' Trace Tool

Singlebrook CEO, Elisa Miller-Out interviewed Indigenous Co-founders, Matt Reynolds and Scott Leonard about Indigenous' Trace Tool at this year's Social Venture Network (SVN) Annual Gathering. 

Watch the interview in the video below:


Elisa also talked with Mark Marosits, Co-founder of Worldways Strategy and Creative, the marketing partner for Indigenous' Trace Tool, as well as Rich Cohen, Founder of Distant Village Packaging, an early adopter of the Trace Tool. 

Photos and transcriptions from these interviews are available below. 

Mark MarositsMark Marosits, Co-founder of Worldways Strategy and Creative

One of the things that is very exciting about the Trace Tool is that, unlike something you would find in the world of competitive business, rather than see the Trace Tool as a competitive advantage, Indigenous asked us to help develop a technology that they can share with others who are trying to fulfill the same mission of fair trade and growth at the base of the supply chain. 

With the design specs that they gave us, and the inspiration they gave us, we built the Trace Tool with a very nimble backend. The backend allows any brand to be able to bring in their own brand identity, their own stories of impact, their own excitement about their work at the base of the pyramid. While we will always acknowledge Indigenous as the driving force and the engine behind the Trace Tool, in socially entrepreneurial business, this idea of not keeping it for competitive advantage, but sharing it with others, is something that you would normally find. We’re hoping that all organizations that are deeply committed to the values of fair trade will take advantage of this remarkable asset in the field.

Rich Cohen
Rich Cohen, Founder of Distant Village Packaging

We focus on making fair trade and sustainable packaging, like boxes and bags, that are focused on our clients’ brand representations, whether it’s custom chocolates, organic clothing, jewelry, spices, coffee or tea. We also make a label out of wild grass paper with a recycling-compatible adhesive called PURE Labels.

We’re really excited about the new Trace Tool technology. We’ve been gathering data from artisans--real information and details about their daily lives, which we gather through journal entries. What we’re going to do is tell the story of the artisans that are making the fair trade packaging, how it’s made and what it’s made from. Trace is enabling technology for us to get that message out there. When people look at an organic box of chocolates, they’ll know not only where it was made and who made it, but they’ll also know about the lives of those people. I believe that it’s important for people to connect with the real daily lives of the people that make these products to make it more human, more real. The artisans will write the journal entries, which can then be read when you look at the packaging we produce for one of our clients.

Our success has been in marketing through the web. What we’re trying to do is create rich content, pictures, videos, and a lot of transparent details. Distant Village Packaging is certified Fair Trade, and we’re also a member of SVN and Green America. Certifications are one thing, but telling that authentic story and reassuring consumers that what they buy is genuinely helping people in other parts of the world is best told through multi-media. 

Tags: T4C