Bottletop is a British sustainable fashion brand based in London making luxury handbags from wasted drink cans.
It all started in 2002 through a product collaboration for charitable purposes with British brand Mulberry. Co-founders Oliver Wayman and Cameron Saul created a handbag made from recycled bottle tops in Africa that was lined with Mulberry leather in Europe. The collaboration was a success and the bag became an international best-seller, generating local employment and raising funds for educational projects in Africa.
Few months later, while travelling in Brazil, Oliver Wayman came across a silver chain mail bag made from upcycled metal ring pulls. Inspired by the intuition of the artisans Oliver Wayman and Cameron Saul started to work with locals to develop a capsule collection of bags as a fundraiser initiative. Once again the collaboration was successful and in 2012 they decided to found the Bottletop fashion company.
The bags are designed in London and crafted in Salvador, Brazil, where the company employs over 20 local artisans earning 45% more than the Brazilian industry average. Bottletop also provide workers with new skills and crafts which they use to make the bags.
The collections are entirely handmade with a particular waving technique that combine up-cycled ring pulls with Zero Deforestation Amazon leather.
In 2017 Bottletop launched a zero-waste flagship store on London’s Regent Street delivering a futuristic twist on eco luxury. In collaboration with partners like the robotics firm Kuka and Krause Architects they assembled the world’s first ever 3D printed store, made from upcycled ocean plastic.
It doesn’t stop here! Bottletop is not only a sustainable fashion brand, it’s ethical too, thanks to its Bottletop Foundation. This institution works with grassroots organizations to tackle sensitive teenage health issues such as HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, gender inequality, low self-esteem and vocational skills deficits. The foundation is active in countries like Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Brazil and UK.
All images courtesy of Bottletop.