Bottletop co-founder Cameron Saul, was honoured to have been invited to speak at Selfridges’ 5x15 event [
18.02.16 ]. As part of the Bright New Things campaign, the evening involved a round-up of sustainable fashion pioneers moving the industry toward a more socially and environmentally harmonious future.
Speakers are given 15 minutes each to summarise their journey into the sustainable fashion field. The full line up included: Lucy Siegle on the fashion industry, David Hieatt on reviving the denim industry in Cardigan, Stacey Dooley on campaigning television, and Diana Verde Nieto on Positive Luxury. The evening was hosted by Dilys Williams from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion.
First up, Stacey Dooley, described her heartfelt stumble into the sustainable fashion world not too long ago, by being sent off to India as part of BBC’s Blood, Sweat and T-shirts program to be immersed in the daily 10 hour routine, for £3 or less.
Cameron Saul followed, outlining the core of Bottletop’s brand’s mission. Describing his upbringing in the fashion industry and work with Mulberry to a “light-bulb” moment in Uganda where he saw an opportunity to link sustainable, luxury fashion with artisan empowerment.
Describing the Bottletop journey from Uganda to Salvador in the North East of Brazil, via London, Paris and NY, Cameron then walks us through the evolution of sustainable Bottletop materials and intricate production techniques using up-cycled bottle tops and ring pulls to Amazon Zero Deforestation leather.
Sustainable company guru, David Hieatt, then took us through his story of resurrecting his local denim factory in Wales, to form Hiut. Focusing his brand mission to re-build local jobs and strictly adhering to a One-dip denim and “No Wash-Club” to reduce industry waste. David reinforced his business, and personal, mantra on the importance of establishing a brand’s purpose for lasting social and environmental impact.
Next up, Duo Diana Verde Nieto, alongside brand ambassador Storm Keating defined their Positive Luxury certification – pushing brands to make transparent their supply chain and pushing Consumers to the forefront to make ethical choices . Making the process so easy, leaving us little room for unethical choices. Currently targeting over 200 luxury houses, Diana aim’s have a trickle down effect to the broader fashion industry.
Lucy Siegle, wrapped up the event powerfully : reinstating how we have built a consumer culture based on instant gratification at the expense of harrowing working conditions, highlighting the 2013 Bangladesh Rana Plaza disaster. Lucy reminded us of the gritty realities of the labour-supply chain that we have become so removed from.
All speakers coherently communicated the role of the consumers as key movers ‘to change the world’ through considered purchasing power without sacrificing the livelihood of the makers.
‘The ripple effects across the fashion industry are undeniable’ - Cameron Saul
All videos can be viewed here