There are numerous ways to create eco-friendly jewelry, but we bet you’ve never heard of bomb-based jewelry! That’s right, these two social enterprises have taken something incredibly violent and destructive and turned it into a source for good by transforming former symbols of war and conflict into accessories meant for peace and sustainability. Not only do these social enterprises help recycle used bombs – which in itself is incredibly sustainable – they also help to create employment and profits based on concepts of healing and reconciliation.
Undetonated Laotian Bombs Turn Bangle – peaceBOMB
During the 1960s and 70s, hundreds of millions of bombs were dropped on Laos over a 9-year time span known as the Secret War intended to stop the spread of communism. Today, 30% of those unexploded ordinances (UXOs) remain in the countryside, posing a threat to local inhabitants and the environment. It is estimated that it may take up to 800 years to remove all of these bombs.
But peaceBOMB is working to create a market for the materials contained in UXOs by developing a line of beautiful recycled aluminum jewelry. Based on techniques developed by a loan man who started collecting scrap metal, including UXOs, and turning it into hand-sculpted spoons, peaceBOMB provides employment for local residents in a number of ways. To start, they buy back the bombs from people who find them, thereby helping to make the countryside safer and UXO-free. Then they employ artisan families to melt down and transform the aluminum from the bombs into bangles, spoons, cufflinks, charm bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Each one of a kind peace is hand crafted and then packaged in a woven organic cotton pouch with a story card.
From Nuclear Bombs to Peace Bronze – From War to Peace
From War to Peace is another social enterprise connecting war with art with their jewelry made from disarmed and recycled nuclear weapon systems. Based on the principle that war is failure and that peace is triumph, this green business believes in turning symbols of destruction into art that expresses sentiments of reconciliation.
Founded by Paul and Sandee Orgren in the US, From Peace to War takes disarmed nuclear missile systems and recovers the copper to create Peace Bronze. They also make use of recycled silver and gold for plating their unique jewelry pieces. This Made in America company also gets inspiration from local heritage by employing local artisans to make each piece of wearable art.
This social enterprise is listed in the GreenDeals.org Top 6 for 2012.