Such is the case with peaceBOMB, a jewelry collection made by hand in Laos from up-cycled Vietnam War and non-war scrap materials. Over the course of the Vietnam War 1964 to 1973, an estimated 2 million tons of “explosive ordinance” was dropped on Laos in some 580,000 bombing missions.
Artisans in Northern Laos started fashioning spoons and other eating utensils by repurposing pieces of the bombs. While an NGO trip, Elizabeth Suda of Article22 met the spoon makers and, along with her sister Wallis, they collaborated on making a bracelet. That led to an expanded collection of more than 15 items, many inscribed with inspirations for peace.
To make the jewelry, bomb scraps are melted down in homemade earthen kilns and poured into wood and ash molds by the Laotian artisans. Each bangle bracelet, for instance, is comprised of material found on 3 meters of bomb-littered land.
Proceeds from the sale of the jewelry benefit the artisans and their communities—and for each peaceBomb product sold, equivalent funds are donated for the cost of clearing 1 to 15 square meters of land (An estimated 75 million bombs remain undetonated in Laotian land).
Retail: $40 each. www.peace-bomb.com.