It was on a trip to Laos to see how local crafts could connect with the global fashion market that New Yorker Elizabeth Suda learnt about the Laotian civil war of 1962-1975 during which more than 270m bombs were dropped, of which 80m failed to detonate. On discovering villagers using melted-down shrapnel to make soup spoons, Suda came up with the idea of developing ethical jewellery upcycled from bomb scrap. Today the jewellery brand, Article22, pays five times the local minimum wage to its artisans, donates 10 per cent of proceeds to the village development fund and works with the Mines Advisory Group to clear unexploded ordnance.
Article22 has now collaborated with artist Beatrix Ost to create a new line featuring precious and semiprecious stones. Highlights include a blue topaz bracelet ($996) and matching earrings ($1,940).