The ultimate in upcycling and repurposing is turning old military items and war-time materials into functional and wearable peacetime pieces. Who’d have thought Jerry Cans, unexploded bombs, shell casings and disarmed nuclear weapon systems could be anything other than unwanted waste?
Danish Fuel collects original World War Two Jerry Cans from military surplus stock houses and with a lot of elbow grease breathes new life into them to create Bar Cabinets, First Aid Stations, Bathroom cabinets and Trolley suitcases.
And in case you’re wondering where the name came from, ‘Jerry’ was the slang word used by the British and American armed forces for the Germans during World War II. The can’s original name was ‘Whermacht-Einheitskanister’ , meaning armed forces unit canister and was designed to hold fuel.
Article 22 partners with artisans in off-the-beaten-track places to create modern jewellery with provenance. Their first collection, Peacebomb is jewellery handcrafted in Laos from Vietnam War shrapnel.
Each piece gives back to support traditional Laotian artisan livelihoods, village development, community endeavours and contributes to the Mines Advisory Group to safely clear some of the 80 million unexploded bombs contaminating land in Laos.
Devin Johnson crafts metal, such as shell casings of long-range military weapons from the Vietnam War and World War II-era armed forces brass shell casings, into money clips in his sustainable, repurposing business Makeshift Accessories.
From War to Peace
From War To Peace recycles copper from disarmed nuclear weapon systems to create an alloy called Peace BronzeTM, from which they cast jewelry and art. Originally the copper was mined in Montana, USA, then used as the cabling that carried launch codes to Minuteman III Nuclear Missiles in the American mid-west. Thanks to disarmament and recycling, that copper now helps launch peace in the 21st Century.
I’m sure there are many others doing such great, sustainable work with war-time waste. Let us know if you hear of any!