I was at a fabulous event recently, hosted by my wonderful friend Frances Card on behalf of “The Sorority”, which was founded by the incredible Lisa Tse (have a look at their website www.thesorority.org). The evening was a huge success and I met some fascinating people… including Caroline Hopkins who told me about an amazing charity she supports called Bottletop (see her in the below photo modelling her wonderful “Ring Pull” clutch bag!).
Bottletop (www.bottletop.org) supports young people trying to obtain a better future for themselves, facilitating education projects and funding healthcare initiatives. Their company Bottletop Trading Ltd “is dedicated to designing and producing ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products, especially from countries where they support education programmes.” By using local craftsmanship, Bottletop generate employment in very poor parts of the world.
The Bottletop story dates back to 2001 when Cameron Saul (his father founded Mulberry) worked as a teacher for 9 months in Uganda. Whilst learning about the difficulties the children faced, he came across a wire-frame handbag made from local bottletops! With the help of his father, Roger and the “It” handbag designers at Mulberry back in the UK, the “Mulberry Bottletop Campaign” was born. The bag was of course a huge success which in turn helped the people back in Uganda, as it generated local employment and hugely needed funds for education projects. And the Bottletop charity was born.
2007 was the turn of the “Ring Pull” project – a collaboration between Bottletop’s, Oliver Wayman and Luciano Dos Santos from Brazil. A training programme was devised to help people living in a very deprived area on the outskirts of Salvador to use materials available to them to make products which the Bottletop charity would buy from them to sell to people like you and me… The programme currently supports 46 people within the community and, to date, has produced over 5000 products which have been sold internationally… Including the amazing handbag that Caroline is clutching in the photograph below.
Visit www.bottletop.org to find out more about this hugely worthwhile charity and to learn more about the tremendously inspirational people they support…