Wednesday 29th September

| BY Paul Toner

Botter: Menswear SS22

In the thick of the lockdown, Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh of the label Botter set up their own coral farm off the coast of Curaçao, the Caribbean island where Rushemy is from. For a label that has spent the past four years using its collections to not only explore the joys of the ocean, but to raise awareness of the impact growing pollution is causing our waters, the designers say working towards the rehabilitation was a natural next step.

“Because we are so busy with this coral farm we see ourselves as an aquatic brand,” says Lisi, explaining that the pair have been unable to visit the farm IRL but have been working virtually with Rushemy’s family and members of the local community to keep the cogs turning. “​​[The farm] has created this awareness around the locals that they need to take care of their own island,” adds Rushemy.

As with last season, the designers have integrated dive functionality into this collection, crafting blazers with dive suit neckline closures that can be worn three ways, or jackets that come with detachable sleeves which can be wrapped around the waist like one would do when pealing out their wetsuit.

They called this collection Global Warning and 60 per cent of the fabrics you see here are made from recycled ocean plastic from nonprofit environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans, used to create aqua blue outerwear with diver fastenings, scuba vests and the brand’s signature boxy tailoring – made for all genders.

“The material really dictated our designs because we needed to do a lot of tests,” says Lisi, “some fabrics were a bit too thin and needed stiffening others were too stiff and needed washing.” After doing multiple rounds of tests, the duo was able to work the fabric into their traditional silhouettes and say the collaboration with Parley is set to be ongoing and long term.

Oh, and they’re already planning a sister location for their coral farm. “We can’t just be designers, we’ve got to do more,” says Rushemey.

Photography courtesy of Botter.