Podcast 87, BOTTLETOP'S CAMERON SAUL - WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE UN GLOBAL GOAL?

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What’s your favourite Global Goal? Have you even heard of them, otherwise known as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs?

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t because while these 17 goals, created by the United Nations as a roadmap for a sustainable future, are super important - they are not as well-known as they should be. Some countries are doing great work in advancing them. Others, including Australia, have a pretty ordinary record on progress so far. But these goals are for all of us. Let’s own them, and work together to make them a reality.

Cameron Saul, photographed by Franco Amendola for GQ Brazil

Cameron Saul, photographed by Franco Amendola for GQ Brazil

EPISODE 87 FEATURES CAMERON SAUL

British social entrepreneur Cameron Saul is the co-founder of Bottletop, an ethical brand based between London and Brazil.

CAMERON’S DAD Roger Saul is the man behind Mulberry, the much-loved British leathergoods label that led the whole it-bag craze in the noughties. It was Roger whom Cameron first convinced, in 2002, to back a potentially crazy idea: that a little bag made from rubbish in the form of upcycled bottletops could be a hit...

Then Cameron’s business Oliver Wayman had another idea. In Brazil, he’d discovered a chainmail bag held together by crochet.

Fast forward and Bottletop operates a thriving fair work atelier in Brazil, where they train local artisans with new skills and crafts, and pay a living wage, making beautiful ethical, upcycled accessories based on the chainmail concept.

Bottletop’s  Helena Enamel bag  in Lavender

Bottletop’s Helena Enamel bag in Lavender

The Bottletop brand funds The Bottletop Foundation, which funds education projects that tackle issues such as HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy and supports young people in Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Brazil and the UK. 

Olliver Wayman, Cameron Saul

Olliver Wayman, Cameron Saul

WHAT NEXT? Their latest project is called #TogetherBand, and it’s all about bringing active citizens to achieve the Global Goals. Teaming up with Project Everyone, they’ve also been working with True Cost director Andrew Morgan on a series of 17 short films, each one telling a story allied to the Global Goals.

In June, #TOGETHERBAND is focusing on Goal 14: Life Below Water.

They’ve just announced Sylvia Earle as an ambassador.

#TOGETHERBAND are partly made from Ocean Plastic. For every one sold, an additional 1KG of plastic is removed from marine environments.

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PROJECT EVERYONE is the brainchild of Richard Curtis (yep, director of Four Weddings and a Funeral). Its aim? To spread awareness of the Goals. This team designed the SDGs colour wheel artwork.

GOAL 2 - ZERO HUNGER. Is it really so hard to solve? Could we not simply redistribute our waste, because an estimated third of all the food produced. Food for thought.

GOAL 4 - QUALITY EDUCATION is one of Cameron’s favourite Goals, because he started out volunteering for an NGO in Uganda focused on the education space.

SHOPPING DETOXES are taking off. Would you commit to one? Clare has signed up for SLOW FASHION SEASON! Follow her progress on IG Stories.

“We want solutions, but what most of us don’t realise is that there is a roadmap for a healthy planet, and that’s the Global Goals. It’s an extraordinary framework for action and for scaling solutions, and helping us achieve that healthy future for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.” - Cameron Saul

The SDG Index measures progress against the 17 SDGs agreed by all countries at the United Nations in 2015. The goals encompass a set of 169 targets to be met by 2030 to achieve economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. The best-performing countries are Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany, all of which have a history of balancing economic, social and environmental issues,” write John Thwaites and Tahl Kestin for The Conversation.

Australia is performing relatively well in areas such health and wellbeing, and providing good-quality education. But its results for the environmental goals and climate change are rubbish.

The new index ranks Australia as the worst-performing country in the world on climate action (SDG 13). The measure takes into account greenhouse gas emissions within Australia; emissions embodied in the goods we consume; climate change vulnerability; and exported emissions from fossil fuel shipments to other countries. One of the reasons why Australia has slumped so far in the rankings is that the SDG Index is now taking into account the so-called ‘spillover’ effects that countries have on other nations’ ability to meet the SDGs. These effects may be positive, such as providing development aid; or negative, such as importing or exporting products that create pollution.”

Not-fun-fact: Australia’s annual exported CO₂ emissions are a colossal 44 tonnes per person. This outstrips even Saudi Arabia (35.5 tonnes per person). Read the rest of the article, dated July 2018, here.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for leadership from politicians, business and scientists on Climate Action. “We have the tools to make our actions effective. What we still lack after the PA is the ambition and the leadership to do what is needed. We were warned – scientists have been telling us for decades – and far too many leaders have refused to listen. The world’s richest nations are the most responsible for the climate crisis yet the effects are being faced first and worst by the poorest nation’s and the most vulnerable communities. There is no more time to waste.”

WILD RUBBER TAPPERS. The Amazon’s rubber tappers have been described as "Guardians of the Forest". Watch the film below:

AN 18th GOAL? Safia Minney has called for an additional goal: Use Communications, Media and Activism to advance the Gaols. Noted and approved.

One of the early Mulberry Bottletop bags

One of the early Mulberry Bottletop bags

RING PULLS. The bag Ollie bought in Brazil calls to mind the work of iconic Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne. In the ‘60s, Rabanne popularised non-traditional materials like wood and metal - his famous metal mini dress was first shown in his 1967 on his Paris couture runway. Oliver’s Brazilian find was altogether humbler - it was made from the aluminium ring pulls from cans, held together by crochet. Today, Bottletop’s interpretations come in a plethora of modern new shapes, some enamelled, some raw.

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TOGETHER BAND Amina Mohammed is the UN’s Deputy Secretary-General and a former Minister of Environment of Nigeria. Together Band grew out of a conversation Cameron had with Amina during NY fashion week. “Friendship bands are an amazing way for people to engage with causes,” says Cameron. “[The bracelet concept] is particularly close to our hearts because in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, where our atelier is, they have a tradition of brightly coloured bracelets that people tie onto your wrist with 3 knots as a good luck charm.”

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“Choose the Global Goal that matters most to you. Choose your band, share our band with someone that you love, be a part of it. “ - #TOGETHERBAND

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HUMANIUM is metal sourced from conflict areas of El Salvador by a Swedish NGO - inspired by Goal 16. They say: “There are hundred of millions of illegal firearms in the world. As a result, someone is shot every minute. Armed violence is a global epidemic that hits developing countries especially hard. Humanium Metal by IM is a new material made of recycled metal from gun destruction programs. The metal is melted and moulded into units, which are then made available for commercial production.”

BIONIC YARN is made from upcycled ocean plastic. The company is part owned by Pharrell.

Cameron, Livia Firth, Brooke Roberts-Islam and Ollie Wayman at London Fashion Week

Cameron, Livia Firth, Brooke Roberts-Islam and Ollie Wayman at London Fashion Week

A NOTE ON OUR MUSIC: IT IS BY OUR FRIEND MONTAIGNE, WHO SANG A SPECIAL ACOUSTIC VERSION OF "BECAUSE I LOVE YOU" JUST FOR US. IT'S FROM HER ALBUM GLORIOUS HEIGHTS.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING THE WARDROBE CRISIS CONVERSATION. WE'LL HAVE A NEW EPISODE FOR YOU EVERY WEDNESDAY. CAN YOU HELP US SPREAD THE WORD? WE'D LOVE YOU TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS & LEAVE A REVIEW IN iTUNES.

Until next time,

Clare x