BOTTLETOP’s #TOGETHERBAND campaign is partnering with the Yawanawá, an Indigenous Brazilian community living in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, to create a range of unisex, vegan and zero-waste jewellery, hand-crafted from açaí seeds, the natural by-product from collecting the fruit to make juice for the community.
The timeless collection of bracelets and necklaces acts as a powerful symbol from Indigenous Peoples, our true guardians of the natural world, to stand by them in support of climate action and protecting our forests. They make up less than 5% of the world’s population yet preserve 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity.
The seeds are hand-painted, then woven together using fine Parley Ocean Plastic® thread. The bracelets have been created in natural, black, green, red, blue and a special edition multicolour featuring each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goal colours. The necklaces are available in two different lengths and have been created in natural, black and special edition multicolour. Each product also features a distinctive single seed cast from Humanium Metal, which is repurposed from decommissioned, illegal firearms, seized from the streets of Central America. In this way, the production of Humanium Metal helps to end armed violence and rebuild conflict-torn societies.
BOTTLETOP and #TOGETHERBAND have proudly committed to working with the Yawanawá community, having funded a permanent Rainforest Atelier and Workshop, with the aim of providing sustainable, long-term employment opportunities. The ongoing partnership will help protect the community’s cultural heritage and artisan skills in creating sustainable products made from materials that are natural to the forest. It will also provide a source of independent income for the Yawanawá people and allow them to continue with their traditional way of life.
Right now, Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon are fighting a series of legislation that aims to throw Indigenous lands open to exploitation. Empowering Indigenous communities to protect their natural ecosystems is fundamental for us all in the fight against climate change.
‘Our precious forest is under great threat. It is burning. We protect the forest and she protects us. We live in harmony. The forest provides us with medicine. With shelter. With sacred knowledge. And with a livelihood. A healthy forest is vital not just for us. But for the healthy future of all humankind. For our children and their children. The açaí fruit is very special to our people. We are partnering with BOTTLETOP to create the Yawanawá collection as a symbol of hope for the future of the forest and our community. With this jewellery, we can preserve the cultural heritage and craft of our community. And provide a livelihood for our people. Help us protect mother nature. Help us protect our home.’ Tashka Yawanawá, Chief of the Yawanawá
‘Indigenous communities have lived in harmony with the planet for centuries. They are nature’s guardians and yet continually face issues from outsiders who threaten their very existence. I was privileged enough to spend time with the Yawanawá in Brazil and saw first-hand how they care for and protect the rainforest. This partnership will not only enable the community to thrive and achieve their goals but will allow them to protect the lungs of the planet.’ Cameron Saul, Co-Founder of BOTTLETOP and Co-Creator of #TOGETHERBAND
The jewellery collection starts at £25 and is available from www.togetherband.org By supporting the Yawanawá community and helping them achieve their goals, BOTTLETOP and #TOGETHERBAND hope to raise awareness of the struggles Indigenous communities face and provide a long-term sustainable livelihood.
BOTTLETOP is a luxury, sustainable accessories brand that began in 2002 through a handbag design collaboration with iconic British fashion house Mulberry, supporting artisans in Africa and local health education projects. With the BOTTLETOP atelier in Brazil and workshops in Nepal, the brand continues to provide skills and livelihoods for artisans in disadvantaged parts of the world.
BOTTLETOP is also a technical innovator; working to develop and apply the most innovative waste and sustainably sourced materials to its collection, including upcycled metal, marine plastic, Humanium metal (recycled decommissioned firearms), Zero Deforestation Leather and wild rubber. In November 2017 BOTTLETOP opened on Regent Street with the first ever 3D printed store created from waste plastic.
The #TOGETHERBAND campaign was launched on Earth Day 2019 by sustainable accessories brand BOTTLETOP in partnership with the UN Foundation. It uses creativity and culture to raise public awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspire action to achieve them. The campaign has achieved a reach of over 7 billion, bringing together active citizens connected through sustainable fashion, contemporary art, music and documentary film. Ambassadors range from David Beckham and Naomi Campbell, to Halima Aden, Lewis Hamilton and Jameela Jamil. Every #TOGETHERBAND is made from reclaimed Parley Ocean Plastic®, decommissioned firearm metal and is handcrafted by artisans in Nepal, creating skills and livelihoods for local women.
ABOUT THE YAWANAWÁ COMMUNITY
The Yawanawá, known as the people of the Wild Boar, are an Indigenous community from the State of Acre, Brazil. They live in harmony with their surroundings due to their centuries-old observation and interaction with nature, subsistence economy and spiritual connection to lands and territories. They ensure the balance of the Amazon rainforest, so it may continue to provide water, fertile soil, food, shelter and medicine.
For hundreds of years they have survived outsiders stealing their land and resources, being enslaved, and having their traditional customs and livelihoods taken away from them. Their ancestral land was finally delineated in the 1980s by the Brazilian government which legally marked out their territory. Their threats, however, are far from over with the introduction of bills PL 490/2007 and PL191/2020 will take away their land rights and leave the Amazon open to being burnt down and mined.