Ethically sourced, fair trade wholesale products

Bombangles - Bangles made from bombs

This Bangle was a BOMB!

 Bombangles ® - Bangles made from bombs
 Bombangles ® - Bangles made from bombs  Bombangles ® - Bangles made from bombs  Bombangles ® - Bangles made from bombs  Bombangles ® - Bangles made from bombs

Bombangles ® > Bangles made from bombs

In a village high in the mountains of Laos, South East Asia, artisan families make these simple, yet beautiful bangles from aluminium salvaged from deactivated UXO (unexploded ordnance) dropped on their province during 'the Secret War'.

Between 1964 and 1973, whilst fighting the Vietnam War, the United States of America carpet bombed the small neighbouring country of Laos.

On average, nine tonnes of cluster bombs were dropped every eight minutes for nine years, earning Laos the unenviable title of 'most bombed country per capita in the world'.

Of these 270 million cluster bombs which rained down, approximately 80 million failed to detonate, leaving behind a deadly legacy.

To this day the people of Laos are unable to farm vast swathes of land for fear of UXO, locking the country in poverty. Scrap metal took over as the only source of income for many. Families using cheap or even homemade metal detectors to find UXO to weigh in for scrap became a common sight. Others would collect smaller UXO to fashion into lamps, bells etc to sell to tourists. Many laotians have been injured due to these practices.

Thankfully, due to the work of various charities, the land is gradually being cleared of UXO. Villagers are now able to purchase decommissioned UXO. Villages with no income are now able to purchase decommissioned UXO, aircraft parts and other waste metals cheaply from reputable scrap dealers. The artisan families of this special village are trying to turn the sadness of the past into hope for the future with their ingenious new business- making bangles from the bombs!

Bombangles ® being made

In February 2012, Dragonfly Totnes visited Laos for the first time and stumbled across a woman selling spoons and bangles made from bombs on Luang Prabang Night Market.We were fascinated by the story and bought some to try out on Totnes Market back home. The response from Totnes was so positive, we decided we should find the fabled village and see the production for ourselves; so in February 2013, we embarked on a mission to get to 'War Spoon Village'. We were very impressed with what we saw there and we believe their products deserve a wider audience.

Watch Victoria Wood's visit to Laos with the BBC

Buy a bangle and help the people of Laos reclaim their land 'one foot at a time'!

Buy Bombangles ® now online from our Ebay shop or call us anytime on 07704520661 to buy over the phone.

For each Bombangles ® product sold, Dragonfly Totnes will donate:

Mines Advisory Group
  • 14p to MAG (registered UK charity 1083008), which enables them to clear one square foot of contaminated land.
    More about MAG in Laos »
  • 10p to help young disadvantaged Laotians further their education at the LEOT School of English (registered UK charity 1115944) in Luang Prabang.
    More about LEOT »

Bombangles ® are fairly traded; Dragonfly Totnes pays 5 times the local market value for each item.

(The province is being cleared of UXO by the British charity MAG and local charity UXO Laos.

The scrap metal used by the villagers in the production of these bangles has been purchased from reputable scrap metal dealers and declared safe.)

Make Spoons not War - The Story of 'War Spoon Village'

When the War had ended and the bombs had stopped falling, the village of Ban Napia was visited by a mysterious stranger from the North who had acquired a new skill: making spoons from bombs! He taught the villagers how to make the spoons from aluminium salvaged from the bombs that littered their land.Today Ban Napia produces spoons for the Laotian market, thus earning it the nickname 'War Spoon Village'. Recently, the villagers have extended this production to include other items More about MAG's work in War Spoon Village.

For wholesale enquiries please contact us or phone us on 07704520661.

Bombangles ® Copyright Dragonfly Totnes 2013