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By Chere Di Boscio
Fonderie 47’s raw materials come from one of the deadliest creations in the world: the AK47. But rather than glorifying weapons, the brand emphatically makes statement of peace by recycling these killing machines into exquisite pieces of uniquely designed jewellery.
After years of civil war in countries such as Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone, there are millions of dormant and still-deadly AK47s littering Africa today, causing misallocation of resources, shortened economic growth, environmental destruction, and of course, thousands of needless deaths.
But fortunately, Fonderie 47 funds the removal and destruction of these old, dangerous and usually illicit weapons–over 55,000 to date–and after breaking parts down into small components, the company hands these pieces over to master craftsmen to transform them into high-end, luxury accessories.
One such piece is the Inversion Principle watch. Designed by Adrian Glessing and produced by David Candaux, this timepiece is a very limited edition of only 20–10 in red gold and 10 in white–and each watch sold guarantees the removal of a thousand weapons from Africa.
Additionally, James de Givenchy has created one of our favourite pieces: the Phoenix steel bracelet. Here, the metal from the guns takes precedence over the tiny diamonds studded on the piece and the yellow gold lining it.
“It’s very symbolic for me, this transformation,” says de Givenchy of upcycling guns into accessories. He believes his potential customers aren’t your typical luxury consumer, seeing a bit of ostentatious validation. Rather, he states, “I think that ultimately the pieces we are making are going to attract collectors; people who collect objects and things that are significant.”
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