New Venture from Ethos Water Founder Peter Thum Transforms AK47s into High-End Jewelry Former Starbucks® Executive Launches Fonderie 47 to Disarm Africa

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To combat the devastation caused by illegal assault rifles in Africa's war zones, founder of Ethos water, Peter Thum, announced today the launch of Fonderie 47.  Based in New York City, Fonderie 47 removes AK47s from war zones and transforms them into rare jewelry, watches and accessories.  

In partnership with NGOs working in Africa, Fonderie 47 already has destroyed more than 6,000 assault rifles.  The sale of each piece of Fonderie 47 jewelry funds the destruction of more assault rifles.

Fonderie 47 sprung from the experiences that founders Peter Thum and John Zapolski had in Africa, where each has traveled extensively.  They have seen assault rifles in the hands of children and witnessed firsthand the problem of assault rifles and how it hinders many aspects of development across Africa.  

"A transformation is needed to break this cycle of violence in Africa.  To this end, we are turning the power of the AK47 against itself," said Peter Thum, cofounder of Fonderie 47.  "Not only do we destroy these weapons, but we invert what they stand for by remaking them into wearable art."

In collaboration with leading designers, including New York City based jeweler Philip Crangi and Swiss designer Roland Iten, the world's premiere designer of mechanical luxury for men, Fonderie 47 is creating exceptional handcrafted and limited edition jewelry and accessories.  

Fonderie 47's initial pieces include a limited series of men's cufflinks, custom-made men's rings, and hand-made earrings for women.  The items currently are sold at private events around the world.  Sales of each item, along with donations from individuals and foundations, fund programs to destroy more assault rifles in Africa.

"While we create rare objects, their true value emanates from the principles, purpose, ideas, and skill that go into them. The pieces are not merely beautiful – they have real impact on the world.  To us, that is the measure of an object's – and a person's – character," said Peter Thum.

For more information on purchasing products please contact Fonderie 47 online at www.fonderie47.com; login serial number 87538336.

About Fonderie 47

Fonderie 47 creates rare objects with leading designers, using steel from AK47s that have been removed from African war zones. In turn, the sales of the pieces – jewelry, watches, and accessories – fund destruction of assault rifles in Africa.  Fonderie 47 envisions an Africa free from the fear of assault rifles.

Learn more at www.fonderie47.com; login with serial number 87538336.

About the Founders

Peter Thum is CEO and cofounder of Fonderie 47.  Thum previously founded and grew the social venture Ethos Water, which Starbucks Acquired in 2005.  Ethos has funded over $6 million in safe water projects, helping more than 420,000 people around the world gain access to water and sanitation services.  Thum also is founder of Giving Water.  Thum currently serves as a board member at USA for UNHCR, the Fund for Global Human Rights, FEED Projects, and the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU.  Prior to founding Ethos Water, Thum worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company.  Thum holds a BA in Government from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University.

John Zapolski is cofounder of Fonderie 47.  Zapolski previously founded Management Innovation Group, a growth strategy consultancy that worked with leading corporations to develop new business ideas.  Previously, Zapolski has held management positions at Yahoo! and Wells Fargo.  He currently is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and previously lectured at UC Berkeley's Hass Business School.

SOURCE Fonderie 47



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