So, since my first blog post I have jumped in the deep end. Despite finding a whole bunch of really great kiwi companies producing fabulous products that fit the “Good Design” philosophy my first order has been placed with and American company called Article 22. I first read about this business 18 months ago when I picked up a copy of Peppermint magazine whilst away on holiday in Taupo and to say they are inspirational is something of an understatement.
Article 22 was founded by New York based designer Elizabeth Suda in 2009 following a trip to Laos working for an NGO. Whilst there she discovered the legacy of American bombing during the Secret War of 1964 to 1973 – a country littered with an estimated 80 million unexploded ordinance devices and enterprising villagers turning the metal from these bombs into spoons.
Today Article 22 (named for the 22nd article of the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights) works with the villagers of Ban Naphia to turn this salvaged metal into a range of jewellery, including bracelets, necklaces and rings, which now sell all over the World. In addition to benefitting employees with a fair wage, for each item of jewellery purchased Article 22 also donates enough money to demine 3 square metres of land as well as donating an extra 10% of profits to the Village Development Fund to fund larger, village-wide projects such as electricity and micro-loans.
PeaceBOMB is Article 22’s first jewellery collection and I am proud that it is the first product range to be introduced to The Good Design Store. To me these products perfectly illustrate how good design can be used to solve problems.