BOTTLETOP - Is it a Handbag? A Charity? A Band?
Bottletop is what it says on the tin, or at least ring-pull. It is a charity which raises funds by selling goods made from bottle-tops and ring-pulls by developing-world people. If you think this sounds dreadful, you'd be wrong: the goods look cool, stylish and edgy.
Besides providing employment, Bottletop uses its profits to empower around 35,000 young people each year with life skills and education to help protect them from contracting HIV/AIDS or falling victim to unplanned teenage pregnancy or drug abuse. Bottletop's Director Oliver Wayman says, ''We alleviate poverty through income generation projects and support youth education in developing countries.''
Manufacturing bags, belts, wallets and purses, and even t-shirts, while also producing music under the Bottletop Band umbrella, the organisation has prevented over 3 million ring-pulls going into landfill. Bottletop's many projects include drugs awareness in Brazil, helping orphaned street children in Rwanda, and Positivo Mozambique, which disseminates AIDS/HIV awareness through music and song, which helps to avoid the discrimination and shame which prevents education about the virus in Mozambique.
Bottletop Band is another outreach concept from Oliver Wayman. This is a line-up of musicians who collaborate both online and in Dean Street Studios to produce ground-breaking fusion music.
This first record from The Bottletop Band is an eclectic fusion of the colourful sound-scape of Brazil with British rock, indie and soul featuring many of the industry's most exciting and open-minded artists, including Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), Carl Barat, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, VV Brown, Babyshambles, Sam Sparro, Fink, Reverend and The Makers, Eliza Doolittle and Tim Burgess (The Charlatans). Click here to listen:www.bottletopband.com.
Oliver Wayman adds, ''Our first record is set for a major London launch in July of this year. We have just received some very favourable reviews: getting four stars both in Q and Uncut.''
Bottletop's latest development is a move into the fashion world. They have just brought out a new exciting fashion collection of products using their usual recycled ring-pulls designed by a famous Parisian design team called Atelier du Sartel.
Fusion really does describe what Bottletop do: they have fused Western waste with fashion accessories, charity with self-development, and fused together disparate musicians to create music which will play back into their charitable activities.
Photos courtesy of Bottletop