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Purple Buddha Project Transforms Weapons into Livelihoods

Cambodia is the most-bombed country in the world. The Purple Buddha Project empowers locals to turn tragedy into a living wage. And to do it with style.

Not only have Cambodia and nearby Laos suffered casualties from war, many abandoned explosives continue to wreak havoc on the people there. The Purple Buddha Project is using these unexploded weapons along with other symbols of conflict to create beautiful upcycled jewelry.

Related: Artist Builds Tiny House Shelters for the Homeless Through Dumpster Diving

Derek Markham at our sister site Ecopreneurist reports that company founder Forrest Curran “has turned to crowdfunding, with a campaign on Kickstarter, in part to raise money to purchase equipment and establish distribution channels.”

Upcycled Jewelry Transforms Weapons into Livelihoods

If you’d like to support the Purple Buddha Project, you can pledge as little as a dollar. Backers who pledge $45 or more can get upcycled jewelry from Curran’s collection.

Related: Recycled Jewelry Made from E-Waste

“Every jewelry piece is constructed from UXO, bomb, bullet, and plane parts from remains of conflict in the countries of Cambodia and Laos,” Curran explains. “This is done through local associations that employ artisans through fair-wage. The local association also oversees training of a viable and transferable skill.”

UXO stands for unexploded ordnance, which refers to any weapons that failed to detonate. The upcycled jewelry is made from the UXO along with meteorites, coins from the British East India Company, and pieces of the Berlin Wall. All of the components are both beautiful and symbolic.

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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