In February, I met Cameron Saul the first time during a breakfast in Zurich. Cameron is absolutely inspiring to talk to, a true visionary who really makes a difference in this world. Together with his father Roger (Founder of British luxury fashion brand Mulberry), he launched the Bottletop Foundation in 2002 through a design collaboration with Mulberry.
One of the iconic Bottletop x Mulberry bag.
At the heart of the campaign was a handbag made from recycled bottle tops in Africa that was lined with Mulberry leather in Europe. The bestselling design was heralded as a sensation by the international fashion press, generating local employment and raising vital funds for grass roots education projects in Africa.
Cameron Saul with me in Zurich in the beginning of the year.
In the end of April, I flew to London to celebrate the launch of #Togetherband, held at the Quadrant Arcade. A movement started by Bottletop, the sustainable British accessories brand, to bring awareness to the 17 Global Goals formulated by the UN in 2015 through a partnership with the UN Foundation, WWF, Project Everyone, Eco Age, Global Citizen and the Founding Partner UBS. These groups created the #TOGETHERBAND campaign, which promotes those 17 Global Goals that are meant to protect the earth and foster prosperity by 2030.
They include no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality, climate action, clean water and sanitation and life on land, among many others. The #TOGETHERBAND campaign sets out to create a global community of over one billion active citizens coming together to achieve the Goals through sustainable fashion, contemporary art, music and documentary film.
At the heart of the 17 month non-profit campaign are 17 sustainably and ethically produced friendship bands. The bracelets are created using recycled ocean plastic and melted-down firearm metal from El Salvador and are made by a group of women in Nepal who have been rescued from human trafficking. The colour of each band represents a different Global Goal which will be fronted by 100 carefully curated high-profile Official Ambassadors, among them Doutzen Kroes, Michelle Yeoh and Arizona Muse, for each goal from across the cultural spectrum, with the power to affect real change and inspire a movement.
Cameron and I at the launch event with our Togetherband bracelets in front of the iconic tapestry that is made up of upcycled metal tabs collected from those discarded on the streets each of which is then individually prepared and hand painted in Brazil.
With each band you buy, you get one to give to a friend, and you’re encouraged to share the bands on social media with #TOGETHERBAND. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales will go towards projects to further the Goals. Interesting to know is that the UBS Optimus Foundation has been selected to help fund life-changing projects with the profits from this campaign.
With Gabriel Cohen, UBS Wealth Management, to the left and Cameron Saul to the right.
Sergio P. Ermotti, UBS Group Chief Executive Officer, says: «We are excited to be the Founding Partner of #TOGETHERBAND. Sustainability is a priority for our clients and for us. As the leading global wealth manager, UBS already contributes to setting the standards and collaborates in and beyond our industry. We are particularly proud that the UBS Optimus Foundation has been selected to help fund life-changing projects with the profits from this campaign.»
Cameron Saul, Co-Founder of BOTTLETOP, says: «We have always believed in the power of sustainable design and creative culture to engage people powerfully in development issues. Through #TOGETHERBAND we are thrilled to combine artisanal craftsmanship with the immediacy and reach of social media to facilitate a cross cultural conversation around the Global Goals as we engage everyone who wants to come together for a healthy future.»
I am very proud to be among those Ambassadors, raising awareness for Goal 12, which stands for responsible consumption and production, something I have been trying to communicate for a long time through my blog. Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles. Achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. Therefore I always recommend to keep your pieces and combine them in different ways. Furthermore, I constantly try to convey the message to invest in clothing of good quality that will last and to stay away from fast fashion.
With lovely Arizona Muse who is one of the Official Ambassadors for the campaign.
The 17 month non-profit #TOGETHERBAND campaign will feature one goal promoted per month through a combination of live events, films and targeted social media outreach by key global thought leaders. The campaign ladders up to the UN General Assembly in September 2020; the key milestone ten years ahead of the target date for us to have achieved the Goals. 100% profits from the campaign will be donated to ground-breaking projects advancing each of the Global Goals.
Rocking #Togetherband: With singer Izzy Bizu who also live performed at the after party.
Led by 100 carefully curated Official Ambassadors for each Global Goal, this is designed to be a high visibility social media campaign. Each Ambassador will share their support for the Goal they are representing by showing themselves wearing their #TOGETHERBAND in selfies and by posting documentary film content on their social media channels – creating a tidal wave of visibility and attention for each Global Goal.
Buy One Give One:
With every band purchased you will receive two.
One to wear and one to share.
Mini #TOGETHERBAND RRP £20 / $25
Regular #TOGETHERBAND RRP £35 / $45
#TOGETHERBAND will be sold at www.togetherband.org and via select retail partners.
Enjoy more photos below…
Switzerland in the house: a close friend of Cameron and part of the movement: Nachson Mimran, Creative Director of the Alpina Gstaad Hotel and CEO and Co-Founder of TO.org.
Bottletop bags on display at the event.
With Cameron’s father, Roger Saul, founder of Mulberry, at the launch event.
Izzy Bizu singing live at the after party.
After party of a successful launch event.
Photos: Courtesy of Togetherband and © Sandra Bauknecht