Bottletop, featuring high-end fashion accessories made from upcycled pop can tabs, is open at Northpark Center until Dec. 31. Photos by Andrea Ridout.
Dec. 12, 2018
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – and that means some unique pop-up stores at malls and shopping centers around town. One that delivers a totally eco-friendly “pop” is Bottletop, located just outside of Neiman Marcus in Northpark Center.
Sporting a colorful pallet of ethical yet sassy gear for guys and gals, Bottletop’s Dallas pop-up is a spinoff of its maiden location on London’s Regent Street that is touted as the world’s first 3D printed store. The Dallas boutique continues the edgy and eco-friendly theme with a stunning modern gazebo sculpture in its foyer that was 3D printed by robots utilizing the waste from 4,000 plastic bottles and a rainbow wall hanging made from thousands of upcycled can tabs. Both shops are the epitome of chic sustainability.
“We want to show through both our product line and our retail spaces that you can use humble waste materials and innovative production techniques to create luxurious accessories and interiors,” said Bottletop cofounder Oliver Wayman, via email. "We’re constantly looking at developments in new materials and techniques to create products with positive impact, and try to achieve as near to zero waste interiors as we can in order to pave the way for high end sustainable retail design."
The products are what will truly catch your breath about Bottletop. Each purse, backpack, belt and bracelet is like a handheld work of art, crafted with precision from discarded soft drink and beer can tabs. The raw aluminum is either polished to a bright finish or coated with various colors of tough, buttery enamel that is meant to gently fade, imparting the bags with a subtle worn-in appearance. The crocheted web that binds each tab together, woven from a thread made recycled plastic bottles, is as soft and comfy as it is durable. The products incorporate certified zero-Amazon-deforestation leather. For those looking for animal-free fashion, Wayman, says some items are vegan. Check with sales staff. And rumor has it the company is moving to vegan leather.
Bottletop was founded more than 10 years ago by Wayman and Cameron Saul, a design duo who were inspired by space-age chainmail couture styles of the 1960s. Bottletop’s first fashion forays were a blend of actual bottle caps and leather scraps from design icon, Mulberry. As their following grew, the fledgling company’s creations expanded to include can tabs woven into intricate bags that now incorporate the majority of their patterns. More recent designer partnerships include Donna Karan. Watch a short video about Bottletop’s collaboration with Narciso Rodriguez and Pepsi.
The brand has become a favorite of the A-List set including Claire Danes, Jessica Alba and Livia Firth. Emma Watson even wore her namesake “Emma” clutch on the red carpet recently. Pricing is on the luxury end of the scale with a modest coin purse starting at around $45 and more-intricate designs upwards of a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. The average is around $250.
The bulk of the company’s current offering is handmade in Brazil by locals who have been transformed into skilled artisans, earning a fair wage and with access to public health benefits, thus elevating them above a cycle of poverty. Select products are also crafted in Kenya, Nepal and Indonesia.
The company donates 20 percent of its profits to the Bottletop Foundation, devoted to empowering young people around the world through education and training, allowing them to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Bottletop Northpark will be open through Dec. 31. If you have a chance to drop by, be sure to extend some warm Texas hospitality and perhaps it will encourage them to make Dallas a more-permanent home.