- Justine Browning |
In Laos, one person is killed each day from unexploded bombs left behind from the Vietnam War.
Though the CIA-led U.S. invasion of the country ended over 40 years ago, residents of the Southeast Asian nation still face the risk of being injured or killed by the over 80 million hidden explosives. Not only do these weapons pose a daily threat, the bombs have also hindered the development of the land.
The unsettling findings pushed Laura De Waal, CEO of the sustainable fashion brand Veggani, to call attention to the crisis by developing a jewelry line.
Laos Bomb Shell Jewelry features designs by artisans in the region and are crafted using recycled aluminum from Vietnam-era bombs.
The pieces are made by melting down scrap extracted from UXO’s (Unexploded ordnance including grenades and landmines) and then performing a casting technique with a mixture of sand and ash. The item is them molded into different shapes.
The accessory collection is a way for buyers to help provide financial stability to locals and aid in the effort to make the country’s farmland safer.
“With the start of our business, we decided that developing our hardware was a great way to not only help them financially but bring awareness and efforts to eliminating this debris.” Said De Waal in a statement shared with FashionUnited.
Waal notes that the artisan and his wife are also school teachers and farmers, leading her to use a portion of the brand’s revenue to help raise funds for supplies and repairs needed for the couple to serve their community.
“We have been raising funds from our profits of any bags featuring our Laos metal to go towards any project they need help with involving the school,” Waal said. “A new roof, bathroom, classroom tables + chairs and flattening of the land for the children to play have all been on the list for fixing and improvement. Our funds go towards any fixes most important to the school, for the children and their families.”
Notable pieces include the buddha head and arrowhead pendant necklace, which features finely detailed imagery. Items range from eight to thirty dollars and include necklaces, rings and bangles. They can be purchased at www.veggani.com.Photo credit: Courtesy of the brand.