Connecting Culture, Planet & People
Founded by Samata Pattinson, BLACK PEARL places cultural sustainability at the heart of its work. Operating across design, fashion, music, entertainment, and education, we deliver representative work to better reflect the world we live in.
Culture is our cornerstone.
About BLACK PEARL
BLACK PEARL is a pioneering cultural sustainability organisation, redefining the landscape of sustainability and culture. We work across the realms of design, fashion, music, entertainment, and education. People and the planet are our priority. We systematically move with pure intentions behind everything we do, delivering precise strokes of genius and thoughtful, careful work. Like a black pearl, our output is rare, infused with respect for diverse cultures.
Strategically located between Los Angeles and London (our Founder being a British-born Ghanaian), we focus on offerings such as cross-sector collaborations, media production, storytelling content creation, educational programs, framework development, thought leadership, and textile and apparel merchandising. For BLACK PEARL, culture serves as a vital analytical tool, enabling us to assess the world and drive sustainable progress intelligently.
So what is the mission of BLACK PEARL? It is simple yet profound: to cultivate an inclusive culture through the things we propel out into the world. We work to ensure that diverse perspectives can be seen, supported and understood. This involves examining important cultural lenses such as age, race, class, identity, socioeconomics, disability, religion, and educational attainment in all the work we do.
For BLACK PEARL, Cultural Sustainability refers to the preservation and enrichment of diverse cultural aspects within a society or social group, ensuring their continuity and thriving existence alongside the pursuit of sustainability goals. It recognises culture not just as art and literature but also as lifestyles, values, traditions, and beliefs that define a community.
Cultural sustainability emphasises the integration of diverse cultural perspectives, including factors like age, race, identity, socioeconomics, religion, and education. By understanding how different communities perceive and engage with sustainability, particularly within industries like fashion, design, music, and entertainment, it enhances problem-solving and the development of more representative and inclusive work. We embrace culture as a cornerstone for our unique ideas and solutions.
Courtesy of Fashion Values, our Founder Samata Pattinson beautifully explains the concept, applicable to all creative industries, not solely fashion and design.
Whether working with entertainment companies to develop more sustainable products for their communities, building accessible sustainability frameworks for brands or organisations, or innovating educational programming for artists seeking to engage with their audiences on sustainability issues such as climate change, BLACK PEARL is rooted in social and environmental impact. This includes developing media and stories that feature outlier protagonists with compelling perspectives to share.
Imagine a world where social footprints are not forgotten, but instead considered and informed decisions we make, alongside the environmental ones. Where people and the planet are not left behind, excluded, or undervalued as a result of the things other people make and do.
Work driven by cultural sustainability ensures that community development, collaborations to enhance local well-being, respect and upholding of human rights, and positive contributions to society, are at the centre of the work we do. Cultural sustainability is crucial, especially in industries such as music, fashion, and entertainment, for several reasons:
Recognising Diverse Cultural Identities:
It’s vital to preserve and promote diverse cultural identities in an increasingly globalised world.
Dynamic Nature of Cultures:
Cultures are not static but evolve; cultural sustainability ensures that this evolution is respectful, protected, and inclusive.
Protection Against Cultural Exploitation:
It guards against cultural exploitation in industries where cultural elements are often commercialised without due consideration for their origin or significance.
Promoting Ethical Behaviour:
Encouraging ethical behaviour and respect for the cultural sources of inspiration is paramount.
Unveiling a New Era of Cultural Sustainability
BLACK PEARL is a cultural movement. It is born of the people, by the people, and for the people. Its origins lie at the very heart of our beloved Earth. The work we do boldly captures ‘the moment’, the past, and the future.
Working across original in-house concept development, production and delivery, BLACK PEARL also offers expertise and customised solutions to serve partner and communities’ needs. BLACK PEARL promotes cultural sustainability through a host of activities across design, fashion, music, entertainment, and education:
– Collaborations and brand activations
– Insight work including reports and think-pieces
– Thought-leadership and leadership development
– Sustainable framework development
– Educational programming and public speaking
– Media production and storytelling content creation
– Apparel and textile merchandising for the entertainment industry
About Our Founder
A British-born Ghanaian entrepreneur working across design, fashion, music, entertainment, and education, Samata Pattinson is CEO of BLACK PEARL. She is passionate about cultural sustainability and connecting the dots between people, communities and the planet with her team.
Pattinson’s former design, educational, and commercial initiatives such as Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) have driven sustainable fashion to the Oscars and seen her educating on the topic of sustainability on reputable platforms and academic institutions in around the world. Her impressive portfolio includes collaborations with notable figures such as Maggie Baird and Billie Eilish at the Annual Academy Awards (notably, Samata authored the Sustainable Style Guide for the 95th Annual Academy Awards).
Samata has actively contributed to educational programs at the Hollywood Climate Summit 2022 and holds producer credits in influential film projects like Andrew Morgan’s acclaimed ‘TEXAS, USA.’ Additionally, she appeared in Billie Eilish’s ‘Overheated’ documentary on climate change alongside notable personalities such as Billie Eilish, Maggie Baird, Finneas O’Connell, Vivienne Westwood, and Yungblud.
Pattinson played a pivotal role in developing the Climate and Fashion focus for Maggie Baird and Billie Eilish’s London Overheated Festival and participated in the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) as part of the SHE Changes Climate initiative. Later, she delivered a keynote address during the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt on Designing for Sustainability.
Samata holds advisory and mentorship roles at Cambridge University’s Institute of Sustainability Leadership. She has spoken at prestigious institutions like Yale School of the Environment, COP26, COP27, and SXSW Eco. Her expertise led her to be invited to Number 10 Downing Street to address two British Prime Ministers on sustainability, business, and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, in 2020, Cambridge University selected Samata to champion their ‘Future We Want initiative’ for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and she provided insights for the inaugural IPBES Global Biodiversity Podcast – Nature Insight.
In 2021, Samata earned recognition as one of the Top 100 Women in the ‘Green Women Power List 100′ by LOHAS Magazine for her impactful work in driving sustainable change. She shares this honor with distinguished individuals like Jane Goodall, Susan Rockefeller, Marina Abramović, Lil Miquela, Clare Farrell of Extinction Rebellion, and Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu of UNFCCC.
She holds the distinction of being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and contributes to Rothys’ sustainability council, focusing on the correlation between biodiversity, climate, and apparel production. As a published author (THE TRIBE Empowerment Journal 2018, The Fashion Designer’s Resource Book – Bloomsbury Publishing 2013), Samata delivered her inaugural TED talk, hosted the Global Fashion Agenda | Copenhagen Fashion Summit, and chaired the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards in Milan in 2023.
“Culture is a definitive turning point when it comes to driving sustainability, and I understand it deeply and powerfully. We are here to unapologetically get the work done that we have seen is not getting done.
My passion has always been to bridge the gap and help people recognise that they have always been part of the sustainability conversation. I work to cast a spotlight on culture and help people establish connections with sustainability based on their own experiences. It is particularly vital to me that a diverse range of black creatives and women of colour can form a visible, safe, respected, and active part of the industries we are so passionately engaged in working to protect.”
We believe that personal, intimate, and local connections with culture and sustainability can catalyse transformative solutions and global influence. We understand that significant change originates from a focused approach, and that a commitment to community is more important than exploitative growth. There is a deep meaning and intent behind the work we do. Standing on our word and being true to who we are means looking back to the origin story of every individual on this planet and seeing that we are all connected.
Life on earth flourishes through the synergy of minerals, rocks, soil, and water. For BLACK PEARL, these echo the harmony of people, nature, and wildlife. Minerals reflect diverse representation, rocks shape landscapes and future potential, soil nurtures and regenerates communities, and water sustains all impartially. This fusion embodies the core vision of BLACK PEARL – an interconnected world where individuals, nature, and wildlife coexist, weaving a collective narrative of life.
Can we share a secret?
One we hope will become something that BLACK PEARL is known for? We consider ourselves outliers. We don’t fit into the boxes that make life easy, and we embrace that unconventionality. It is a superpower that enables us to view things from innovative angles, catalysing us to create bold work that doesn’t seek acceptance but instead paints bolder, more creative pictures on a fresh new canvas altogether.
The BLACK PEARL Lens
Did you know that Black pearls, also known as Tahitian pearls, are incredibly unique because they’re not actually black? Their colour ranges from grey to a striking hue that appears black but often has overtones of other colours like green, blue, or purple. At BLACK PEARL, we fundamentally believe in the importance of looking beyond labels and surface value to understand the nuances of sustainability. That is where cultural lenses comes in.
We ensure that diverse communities can see themselves authentically and accurately reflected in the world around them. We seek to complete work that is guided by our unique Pioneering, Expert, Accessible, Rare, and Luxury (PEARL) lens. We are resolutely committed to effecting change in the world, one brilliant piece of work at a time.
Guided by a rich tapestry of cultural diversity, we infuse our pioneering spirit with a deep understanding of global perspectives, ensuring our innovations resonate universally. We fearlessly take bold steps, exploring new horizons to deliver cutting-edge solutions and strategies through our work.
With a diverse team deeply rooted in various cultures, we blend our wealth of knowledge and experiences, and those of our community. Our pride lies in mastering our craft, broad and deep pursuit of knowledge, while meticulously ensuring our offerings align with cultural sustainability.
We firmly believe that sustainable solutions, and spaces for representative communities to be positioned as participants or experts, should be within reach for us all. Accessibility means no glass ceilings for the voices deserving of a platform. We work to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make a positive impact on people and planet without compromising on excellence.
We understand the significance of rarity, and see it as inherently linked to representation. Our work is curated to mirror the uniqueness of global communities and the world they navigate across design, fashion, music, entertainment and education. We celebrate diverse representation and make space for stories we might not ever fully understand, ensuring that our strategies resonate with a global audience.
Luxury lies at the core of our business. We do not believe that luxury solely means high monetary value or exclusivity, instead we see it as being defined by meticulous attention to detail, a commitment to durable and long-lasting solutions, belonging to a dedicated community and a personalised experience that upholds our commitment to sustainability. That is luxury to us, which is why sustainability and luxury can coexist harmoniously.
WWD Coverage: Samata Pattinson Launches Cultural Sustainability Firm BLACK PEARL
Introducing BLACK PEARL: A Visionary Cultural Sustainability Organisation by Founder Samata Pattinson
The BLACK PEARL Logo: A Visual Celebration of Cultural Sustainability and Wisdom
ValuesCo launches GENZERO – Gamified Climate Action Campaign In Partnership With TIME & Celo––including 100 Partners before United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28)
BLACK PEARL contributes to Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Course Curriculum
BLACK PEARL join AFM Sessions on Green Filmmaking: Tools for More Sustainable Production at Every Budget
BLACK PEARL Fund
We established the BLACK PEARL Fund so that we can deliver social impact work for the global communities that we are part of and keen to support. Specifically, this fund is for work dedicated to cultural sustainability, and supporting initiatives that promote sustainable practices, inclusivity, and cultural preservation.
The BLACK PEARL Fund will support social impact work for communities and the environment that will weave cultural richness into sustainability efforts, including those who share our vision for a more harmonious and inclusive world.
Donations made to the BLACK PEARL Fund via SIF are tax deductible to the furthest extent allowed by law. The Social Impact Fund’s tax ID is 46-1820448 and has earned a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator. We look forward to securing funding in 2024 and directing resources towards work for cultural impact.
We sit on the board or hold advisory role positions with:
Vegan Fashion Week
At the intersection of fashion, social justice, animal rights, and the environment, Vegan Fashion Week is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation with a global impact supporting fashion businesses in their transition to ethical and sustainable practices, inspiring consumers to do better.
Quinsera is an online sustainable fashion community information hub aiming to redefine the Ghanaian fashion industry through the female lens. Quinsera exists to drive sustainability at the core of Ghanaian fashion businesses through the provision of women-led novel sustainability information and education.
Hollywood Climate Summit
The Hollywood Climate Summit is an annual multi-day conference that creates a community space for thousands of cross-sector entertainment and media professionals to take action on climate.
Additionally, our Founder supports the following NGO:
The Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS) is a Ghanaian registered non-governmental organization that is committed to promoting the rights of the marginalized in society. Formed in 1993, RAINS has a long history of work to improve the lives of deprived communities and sections of the society. In conjunction with communities, government agencies and civil society groups, the organization pioneered interactions in advancing girl child education, tackling child labour, and the empowerment of women and girls in Ghana.
We love the work these organisations do:
Founded in 2020 by Maggie Baird, mother of Grammy Award-winning artists Billie Eilish and Finneas, Support+Feed is committed to mitigating climate change and increasing food security by driving global demand, acceptance, and accessibility of plant-based food. Support+Feed has reached 41 cities globally, has a consistent presence in eleven anchor cities in the US, and is now expanding through partnerships in the EU, UK, and Australia.
We look forward to connecting with more like-minded changemakers.