Tired of seeing how landfills were being filled with reusable items, Elvis and Kresse decided to take action. Since 2004 they have been reclaiming decommissioned fire hoses which they turn into beautiful accessories. Handbags, wallets, purses,etc. The sustainable fashion world has gained a solid partner with this London based company.
Can you tell us the story of Elvis & Kresse? How did it you start making reclaimed fire hose accessories?
In the year that Kresse arrived in the UK, 2004, 100 million tonnes of waste ended up in landfill. We wanted to change that but knew that we had to focus on something small, that we could tackle. In 2005 we had the chance of meeting with the London Fire Service and discovered that their damaged, decommissioned hoses went to landfill. This 10 tonne a year problem was something we felt we could solve. Elvis & Kresse was established to rescue London’s Fire hoses. By 2010 we were big enough to be doing that and we continue to do this each and every year.
What is the production process of making reclaimed fire hose accessories?
We have a multi-phase process that we have been tweaking over the years. We collect the hose, edge it, scrub it, clean it, and then separate it into belt or strap stock or bag stock. If it is bag stock we then thin the material by splitting it in half. Following this, the steps for us are similar than that of any other luxury business. The amount of pre-work we do with the hose would be like taking on the entire leather supply chain from animal to tanned hide.
What are the challenges that you face when creating your reclaimed fire hose accessories?
The main challenges are to respect the material, to ensure that the design cherishes the material. We want our customers to love hoses as much as we do, so craftsmanship, beauty and design are all crucial for us.
On the hands of who would you like your products to end up?
Natural talkers who love to share the Elvis & Kresse story.