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HANREJ’s new ”Friends With Bees” launch shines the light on the declining bee population — they’re even making their own honey

One of Scandinavia’s most exciting jewellery brands add new accessories to their line.

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Founders Kasper Langedill Nielsen and Bjørn Magnussen describes HANREJ as a universe. That’s also why they’re not limiting their brand to only jewellery, while the name is a story in itself.

— The word Hanrej originates from German hahnrei, which is a castrated rooster, the duo explains. In Danish, the old and condescending term is used to describe a man with an adulterous wife. Hanrej is a negative word from the past, that no longer needs to hold the same literal meaning for the newer generation. It’s a metaphor for the contemporary being and how it no longer needs to be so defined, but rather free and open to individual interpretation. We wish to cultivate the free, self-assured and nuanced human being, blossoming in our modern society.

The guys met at preparational design school, where Kasper came from a background in business and Bjørn from clothing and art.

— We quickly bonded and had a mutual interest in especially jewellery, but also very much in branding and how predictable everything often was. It was nearly impossible to find authentic brands, who carried nice jewellery options, particularly for men. Everything seemed too polished, superficial and distant.

They wanted to contribute with more depth, humor and authenticity, taking a more entertaining approach to staging products and interacting with an audience, giving them an experience.

— Therefore, we instantly knew this was a scene for us to start an organization and create a new movement. HANREJ is a feeling and an expression between human beings and it keeps evolving.

Their new drop, Friends With Bees, includes two bags, a necklace, a bracelet and T-shirts available on request.

— It serves to remind us of sharing love among one another, our planet and life in general, the duo says. We coexist in a symbiosis with all living organisms and the planet itself and if we don’t respect it and care for it, we will wind up destroying ourselves. The bees in our collection symbolize all living things, humans and how we mutually are endangered. The campaign depicts a childish, playful and forthright approach to communicating the importance of unison, harmony and love for one another.

— We don’t want to be restricted by only making jewellery and we’re very curious about accessories in general. In this new collection, we’re of course adding more jewellery to our entire assortment. Our new larger chains, bags and ear cuffs are actually from a new collection, with a campaign dropping this winter called The Dream of The Fishermans Wife. The products were ready, so we wanted to use them for this campaign as well and put them on our webshop. The bee is made 1:1 from a real bee and available as a pendant and earring. Everything is made in Sterling Silver or 18K Gold Plated Sterling Silver, the duo says, continuing,

— But this is also our first step into more accessories, like the bags. And we made some different graphics for all t-shirts, as a reminder to love our planet and being friends with bees. The Kgl. Hofleverandør (Danish for royal warrant holders, Ed’s note) print speaks to the hierarchies in societies, humans and bees alike. All looks were accompanied by soft linen pants with 70’s flare, made for this specific campaign. We wanted to create all clothes ourselves in order to maintain our brand expression.

And you also present your own honey?

— Yes. Beyond just shining some light on the declining bee population, we wanted to show our support for local beekeepers, who work to prevent extinction and create a sustainable honey production. Therefore, we contacted William at Søborgmagle Honning, right outside of Copenhagen and decided to collaborate on our own honey. So now we’re also selling honey. At least for the time being.

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How sustainable are the products?

— We are very determined to always maintain a high standard in quality, which makes our jewellery long lasting and sustainable. Our production is kept in Denmark and Germany under great conditions and where we can maintain short distance deliveries. We’re also currently implementing eco packaging for all of our jewellery and testing more sustainable ways to produce our bags, which are currently handmade in Copenhagen.

As the brand is constantly growing, their next move is to set up presentations selectively around the world.

— We’re most likely starting with New York, where we’re going to do a fun event in the nearest future.

Friends With Bees is available on hanrej.com and will also be introduced at Storm Copenhagen.