RAPAPORT… Nelson Mandela celebrated his 90th birthday today, weeks after a star-studded outdoor concert in London that was dedicated to the human rights leader. It was during this celebration that the 46664 bangle was introduced, which is a bracelet distributed in platinum, gold, and silver bearing Mandela’s Robben Island five digit prison cell number, 46664, along with a 3D imprint of his hand.
In honor of Mandela’s birthday, Montblanc announced its intention to carry the 46664 bangle.
“Already, bangle sales have exceeded our expectations,” says Robert Coutts, CEO of Coutts Inc., and social justice entrepreneur behind the bangle initiative which aims to significantly contribute to the eradication of HIV/AIDS in South Africa by pumping up to 48 percent of the bangle sales proceeds into 46664, the Foundation’s initiative for the campaign for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
46664 has already become a powerful international symbol and brand for social justice in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Projected to sell 250,000 bangles a year through 2010, each wearer who purchases this special bracelet will be able to track online how the funds will be used in alleviating HIV/AIDS through a unique serial number imprinted on the bangle.
“We have had to take necessary steps to boost production to meet the astounding demand from the international public,” said Coutts. “Scale is critical to the success of this project as the goal is to raise sufficient funds to sustain HIV/AIDS prevention projects for the next 16 years for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“Montblanc North America is very honored to be a part of this major international initiative,” said Montblanc North America president and CEO, Jan-Patrick Schmitz. “Our brand is one that takes as much pride in promoting worthwhile causes around the globe as we do in creating our hand-crafted watch and jewelry collections. The 46664 initiative and the impact that a leader such as Nelson Mandela has had in society is important to helping create a stronger, healthier world.”
Produced using “fair trade” precious metals from South Africa suppliers and with workmanship accomplished by local craftsmen, many of whom are living with HIV, the 46664 bangle will be available in the U.S. at select Montblanc boutiques in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, and in Costa Mesa, California.
“This project is far more than creating the latest fashion statement,” said Coutts. “Becoming the owner and wearer of a 46664 bangle is an affirmation of responsibility. As ‘Madiba’ himself has instructed us: ‘The future is now in our hands,’ these bangles represent a commitment to bringing about a future for South Africa that is true to the vision of the man whose prison number they bear.”
Achmat Dangor, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said that they “welcomed the innovative social business model of the 46664 Bangle Initiative that ensures that local artisans and workers benefit” and added that, “the initiative also has the potential to raise significant revenues for the 46664 campaign.”