One Fashion Brand Aims to Upcycle Post-War Debris and Employ the Disadvantaged
Greeniche turns bullet shells and other waste materials into beautiful products for a good cause

The history of Cambodia has been rocky, to say the least. In the time period between 1965 and 1973, over 2,700,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the land. That’s even more than the Allies dropped during WW2. Sadly, the after-shocks of these events are still felt today: 30% of these bombs have failed to detonate and are classified UXOs (Unexploded Ordnance), to be unarmed by deminers.

But how can the country heal and rid itself of such a dark time in their history? Fashion and fair-trade brand Greenicheis aiming to make a dent by upcycling the remains of this conflict era, crafting products from the Cambodian bullet shells and other debris left behind.

Greeniche reclaims post-war debris to create wearable art

Resourceful Cambodians have been using the post-war brass bullet shell casings, landmine casings, and bomb shells as scrap metal for decades now. They take the remnants of war and recycle them, giving the material a second life as the tools they need in their day-to-day lives.

Through Greeniche, those same remnants provide disadvantaged families with a fair-trade income. Greeniche’s 8 ironwork artisans handcraft stunning brass-based jewelry from the left-overs of Cambodia’s history. By skillfully molding the post-war debris, they can turn something cruel into beautiful and timeless Cambodian bullet shell earrings, brass cuff bracelets and bullet casing necklaces.

Fair trade upcycling for a meaningful cause

Greeniche has been creating more than just fair trade and ethically made brass jewelry. By collecting and cleaning the rubber of a bicycle inner tube, you can make sturdy upcycled wallets that could last you a lifetime.

Of course, repurposing the rubber from bike wheels isn’t as impactful an idea as recycled bullet shell casings, but Greeniche has made these products just as meaningful: the inner tube wallets are handmade by artisans whose families have contracted a terminal illness. The proceeds of each wallet goes to assist the treatment of these relatives, making this product not just a quirky upcycled novelty, but a stunningly powerful statement.

Providing hope for disadvantaged home-based workers in Cambodia

The Hong Kong-based brand has made it their mission to promote sustainable development and free disadvantaged home-workers from poverty. They don’t need money directly from your pockets: they want dignity.

Buying upcycled goods from a fair trade company such as Greeniche makes a huge difference to those in need. Every piece of jewelry bought helps the ironwork artisans and their underprivileged community (near Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh) have a steady and fair-wage income. Every inner tube wallet sold provides hope to families stricken with disease.

Providing dignity and wages, Greeniche’s goal is an admirable blend of charity, sustainability, and design.

Originally published at thesquirrelz.com on December 9, 2015.

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