It is an incredible paradox of human nature that the same hands capable of creating weapons are also able to craft them into symbols of peace and healing. Jewelry company Saught works with Cambodian artisans to make earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets from scrap metal left by landmines. Partnering with Italian NGO Fileo Development Organisation, Saught trains workers in the art of fine jewelery-making as well as providing food and lodging for students and their families. The Singapore-based business offers three lines of socially inspired jewelry with their Freedom from War, Freedom from Poverty, and Freedom from Fear designs. Each purchase contributes money towards subsidizing the workshops, de-mining efforts, and expansion of the startup into other countries that have experienced conflict.
After the era of the Khmer Rouge, over 2.7 million tons of landmines were found in Cambodia. Currently, on 13% of the land has been cleared of these dangerous weapons, leaving over 646 sq km hazardous for travel and unsuitable for agriculture. Still one of the least-developed countries on the world, many of Cambodia’s workers earn only about $2 US dollars a day. In an effort to alleviate poverty and aid in the mission to make the country free of unexploded ordinances, Saught has teamed up with NGOs Fileo Development Organisation and Rajana Association. Together, they work to employ 23 students and lecturers from the Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design. Supporting 27 employees, their 12 designs transform scrap metal from landmines in to gorgeous pieces of jewelry.
“The beautiful thing about fashion is that it reflects the sentiment and culture of the season that its in, and is a true representation of your identity and person. We see Saught as being part of a movement within the fashion industry to one where fashion cares about what matters – people and the planet. Working in Cambodia is tied to our vision and mission of creating social impact through our work, and of course, because we love the people in Cambodia and their incredibly warm hearts!” says founder, Pamela Yeo. “We are at the cusp of a shift of the pervasiveness of ethics and what is good into every facet of life – including fashion. What we hope is that our work would serve to encourage and spur on that it is possible to do good in and through your work!”
Saught encourages shoppers to become advocates of peace through one of their three lines of jewelry. Peace doves, flower petals, laurel branches, and bricks symbolizing strength and unity shine in gold. They hope that their mission helps to not only empower the people of Cambodia, but to help the beauty of peace shine through each item they sell.