Come Together With... Lais Ribeiro
The Brazilian supermodel and former face of BOTTLETOP, on the power of partnership and why sustainability means so much to her.
Tell us how you first got interested in BOTTLETOP and sustainable fashion?
I first heard about BOTTLETOP through my friend Candice Swanepoel when she mentioned that she’d been modelling some of the bags. I’m from Brazil and the atelier is based in Bahia in the North which is close to my home. I was really impressed by the fact that BOTTLETOP has been providing jobs and skills to lots of people in the area.
You grew up in Brazil, did that have a role in shaping your passion for sustainability?
Yes for sure that made a real difference. In Bahia and the North of Brazil there are so few opportunities for the people who live there, it’s through partnerships like the one BOTTLETOP have formed with this community in Brazil that you can really help underprivileged communities and all the families that live within them.
You’re a model, why do you think it’s important to use your platform in this way?
Well I know that as a model I could go out and just tell people which concealer I’m using on social media! But I quickly thought why not use my platform to help promote a good cause. It’s so easy and it’s so important to let people know about the issues around sustainability.
Have you encountered any other projects or initiatives that have really moved you?
Here we go, now I am going to cry. This one is more personal because I am involved in a project around autism because this is something that has affected my son. So right now, I’m just trying to make people more aware of the stages of children with autism so they can be more understanding.
As a mother do you think you are more aware of how your actions will impact on the next generation?
Of course, as a good mother, it’s so important to take care of our planet for our kids and our grandkids so they can have a better place to stay. But I want to teach my kids good habits. At home we try to separate the food and the plastic and everything. My son already knows exactly where to put the trash.
Is this also a reason why you were interested in supporting a campaign that has the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals at its heart?
When I first heard about the Global Goals I thought - 17 Goals - why didn’t they do this before. It’s something so simple - something that all of us can get our heads around.
Do you think as a society we can reach those Goals?
I think as a society we can reach the goals that we want to. But the #TOGETHERBAND campaign is about everybody coming together, to do our best for the planet, to spread the word and help each other to make it happen.
As you know you get two bracelets - one to wear and one to share with someone important to you. Have you given any thought about who you would like to share it with?
There are lots of people I want to give these bands to. I want to share my bracelet with someone who has been there for me and for the community, so I want to give it to my fiancé Joakim Noah, he’s a special person in my life and he’s been doing a lot of community work, helping a lot of young women. The other is Candice Swanepoel, because she was the one who brought me to the project. The idea of two #TOGETHERBANDs is just so amazing because you can give something to your loved ones to show them that they are playing a part (maybe just small right now) to help to save the planet and I love that.
You chose Goal 17 Partnerships For The Goals - can you tell us why?
Yes, I picked the partnership one, because it says it all: if you come together, you're stronger and your voice is bigger. The more people are aware of the goals, the more we can do together to save the planet. A collaboration between UBS, the UN and BOTTLETOP for the #TOGETHERBAND campaign just makes such a big difference. As I said, coming together to try and make those 17 goals happen is only going to work if we work together with a much bigger voice!
Right now it’s important that we act fast - together.We need your help to raise vital funds to support the COVID-19 response.
We have set up the #TOGETHER FUND with the BOTTLETOP FOUNDATION to raise money to ensure patients can access the care they need, as well as supporting disease prevention and frontline health workers across the globe.
The #TOGETHER FUND is administered by the BOTTLETOP FOUNDATION who will distribute funds in the following way:
50% of the funds we raise will go to COVID-19 Response Funds; split equally between UN COVID-19 Solidarity Fund for WHO and Médecins sans Frontières.
50% of the funds will go to the life-changing programmes addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that are critical to our planet’s future.