This Brand Is Turning Guns into Fine Jewelry With the Non-Violence Project Foundation
Photo: Courtesy of Leya Kaufman

This Brand Is Turning Guns into Fine Jewelry With the Non-Violence Project Foundation

Arild Links' “Links of Change” bracelets also benefit Counseling in Schools for NYC youth.

It’s 11 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I’m three minutes into a pitch call I scheduled with a new client months ago, but my phone starts buzzing with an incoming call from my toddler’s school. I don’t even hesitate before muting the meeting and picking up. Immediately, I hear a familiar story: “It’s the school nurse. Ezra got a small scratch on the playground, but we cleaned it off and sent him back to class.” I thank the nurse and jump back into the meeting, apologizing for the brief interruption before pretending to be all in. I’m actually not really in the meeting anymore, I’m thanking god. This happens every few weeks and I smile through the maternal anxiety that has seeped into my innermost thoughts. I’m showing the client a case study, but I’m saying a prayer. At this moment, I’m the luckiest mother in the world. But it’s hard not to imagine being one of those parents that received a different type of call, like those in Ulvade, Texas, last week.

A National Crisis

As we all know, it won’t be enough to secure our schools. The access to firearms threatens our safety in the United States in places of worship, nightclubs, and grocery stores. Remember that it was only a few years ago that the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando threatened the safety and mental wellbeing of the entire LGBTQ+ community. I’ll never forget when my cousin told me that in the ‘80s, the gay clubs offered both safety and a celebration of personal identity when there was nowhere else to go. She lamented that now, gun violence took that away. Or, recall how the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh made thousands of Holocaust survivors afraid to go to temple to say their prayers. Then there were countless casualties due to gun violence that barely hit the news cycle before a racist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. And, most recently, another heart-wrenching attack that left 19 dead at an elementary school in Ulvade, Texas. In 2021 alone, more than 30,000 people died from gun violence in America. In 2020, guns also became the leading cause of death for American children and teens.

I donated and joined Everytown, and I’d love to join peaceful protests while reinforcing security measures in my local community. But, soon I know I’ll be sitting at my desk about to start a Zoom meeting with a client, holding my breath that I don’t receive a call from my toddler’s school.

Jewelry for Change

So, where do we go from here? Well, we vote and lobby for change to our nation’s gun laws. Beyond that, we support the communities investing in heightened security and we put our other priorities on hold when we stumble across the trailblazers that are working to make a difference in our world.

It’s rare that you discover a brand that sits at the intersection of fashion and cultural change. Enter: Arild Links. This Swedish-born fine jewelry brand is tackling the gun violence crisis in two ways. First, they’re confiscating and deconstructing guns–they’re literally removing the weapons from the streets. Second, they’re upcycling the humanium from those guns to craft gender agnostic fine jewelry with other sustainable, environmentally and socially conscious materials. Proceeds from Arild Links support the Non-Violence Project Foundation and their limited-edition Measure of Hope piece gives back to the Counseling in Schools foundation in partnership with the New York City Department of Education this summer. So, you can now express your personal style while sparking conversation and giving back.

Jewelry has always been the cornerstone of my own personal style–almost every piece I put on carries intrinsic meaning, like this latest addition to my stack. In wearing the Changes Original Black Bracelet for a week, I also welcomed conversations on social media about this national crisis and how people like me, with no political background, can be part of a crucial change in this country.

Arild Links fine jewelry offers modern, collectable classics in materials that range from PET-rope made from recycled plastic bottles to diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and the aforementioned humanium metal from confiscated guns. Prices range from $150 to $5,000+–there really is a piece in the first collection drop for everyone.

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