What could you do with genuine British fire-hoses and reclaimed parachute silk lining? Well it turns out that Kresse Wesling and James Henrit [Elvis] have the answer and make bags, belts, straps and other small pieces out of them. They are the people behind the U.K.-based company Elvis & Kresse. They started Elvis & Kresse in 2007. By chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade, they noticed that fire hoses after 25 years of service and are too damaged to repair go to landfill.
From fire hose to bag
Especially Kresse Wesling was struck by the beauty of the dark red fire hose. But what to do with it? The first successful item they made was a belt and after some searching they came up with bags. The fire hoses are scrubbed clean of 25 years worth of soot, grease, and built-up gunk before the hoses turn into luxe-looking bags, belts, and wallets.
In the beginning the main supplier of decommissioned fire-hoses was the London Fire Brigade. But today Elvis & Kresse sources its material from brigades all across the United Kingdom. And they’re constantly on the look out for other discarded items or materials to use.
“We dream of a time without landfill, when everything is recycled or composted. Between now and then we know there are far too many incredible materials that will either languish under ground or suffer the indignity of incineration. When that happens we lose, we lose quality, narrative, and the opportunity to do something great. So we intercede, choosing story laden materials of incredible character, and do everything we can to ensure their second life is as long as possible.”
Elvis & Kresse re-distributes up to 50% of profits to projects and charities related to the unique materials we reclaim. Donations have been made to WWF, The Wessex Autistic Society, Help for Heroes, Comic Relief, British Forces Foundationand of course, the Fire Fighters Charity in support of the work that they do.
Photo & video © Elvis & Kresse
I think Kresse Wesling and James Henrit are doing a remarkable job. The have rescued over 200 tonnes of waste so far, they give to charities, they upcycle and they create beautiful items. What more do you want.