Wear Your Music makes bracelets from the guitar strings of famous players. The co-founder Hannah Garrison tells James McNair how it works
How do you ensure the authenticity of strings donated?
The artist or their guitar tech has to certify their authenticity and nominate the charity they want to benefit.
How are the strings cleaned and turned into bracelets?
Some are super-dirty, some are fairly clean, some are very tangled. After we sort them out and tag them they go through an ultrasonic cleaning process, then we custom-make the item depending on the artist you want, the kind of bracelet and your size.
Which artists have proved most popular?
It’s hard to quantify, because there are some that would sell loads if we could get more strings. John Mayer is really popular. Someone like Bob Weir [of The Grateful Dead] could sell hundreds of bracelets, but he only changes his strings twice a year.
Visitors to your site can suggest artists they’d like to donate strings. Which names keep cropping up?
Dave Matthews, Neil Young and The Edge, for sure. But we haven’t been able to get them to donate their strings. Some more from Keith Richards would be good, too!
The recycling aspect is valuable too, of course.
Guitar strings can be made from about six different kinds of metal and it would take a long, long time for them to biodegrade in landfill.
How much money have you raised so far?
Half a million dollars and counting – and we haven’t made this year’s donation yet.
• Visit www.wearyourmusic.org. International shipping is available