A fire hose is an object used by several upcycle designers resulting in very sturdy and beautiful designs. A design company that has been featured on upcycleDZINE some time ago is Elvis & Kresse with their stylish bags making use of the dark red fire hose. But there’s more than fire hoses when we look at the gear and attributes a firefighter uses. Look for instance at those huge fire jackets. Would be something to upcycle that!
Firefighter gear turned fashionable
And that’s exactly what Peter Alcorn did. He’s the founder of Rescue Threads, based in Gainesville, Florida | United States. Rescue Threads is a new kind of non-profit project: “We deal directly with Fire Departments and we don’t take donations from the public. It works like this. A firefighters ‘bunker gear’ is a custom-made, high-tech outfit that costs taxpayers about $2000 each. The duty cycle for the gear is 10 years, after which it is typically destroyed and dumped into a landfill.”
“Departments can now donate their firefighter gear to Rescue Threads. We re-purpose every scrap we can. We ‘deconstruct’ the gear and use the extremely durable materials to make a robust kind of usable art. With ten years of firefighting experience in each piece, we feel our bags embody the stories firefighters put into them. People buy our bags because they want to carry something as tough as the firefighters that wore them. Customers also want to be a part of a rich experience, and they want to influence positive change in the world. Working with this gear is hard, and we pay our workers fair wages for their efforts. All profits go to grants for under-funded firehouses to buy new, safe gear (and save taxpayers money).”
“Rescue Threads enables us all to help a bunch of heroes that live among us but are nearly invisible. Changing our world, one bag at a time.”
Rescue Threads designed a stunning series of unique firefighter gear bags called ‘Quint‘. The name refers to the fire truck that does everything, just like this bag. Pockets, liner and handle wraps fashioned from the soft grey quilted inner layer of a fire jacket. Strong yellow fire hose handles. A nice interior and exterior pocket to hold a phone or another like item, and a deep interior to carry all the tools you need for your day.
Photos © Rescue Threads
Projects like this show what can be done with upcycling. In this case an unfortunate cycle of waste and in a way the loss of an amazing history is turned around into a positive cycle and tribute to the hard working firefighters.