Sustainability and ethical consumerism are key topics in the world of Fashion at the moment, as simply we can’t carry on consuming clothes at the current rate we are for much longer. Think about it, the world’s population is increasing and we have a certain amount of space we can use to grow necessary crops, wheat cotton, barley etc. Farmers face the dilemma of, do they grow to supply the raw materials for clothing or for food ?
In turn more and more clothing brands are faced with having to become increasingly sustainable and in doing so ethical, which many of them are finding difficult. It’s hard to find brands that are truly ethical, sustainable and innovative all at the same time.
One such brand that are working hard to be fulfilling all three of these areas is Elvis & Kresse who create interesting lifestyle accessories by re-engineering seemingly useless wastes and combining them with traditional craftsmanship. In 2005 they launched their pioneering Fire-Hose range, made from de-commissioned British fire brigade hoses; after a distinguished career fighting fires and saving lives they were otherwise destined for landfill.
The instant Elvis & Kresse met with the London Fire Brigade they fell in love with their old hose. After they scrubbed away the soot and grease that builds up from 25 years of active duty and discovered a truly remarkable, truly green textile.
All Elvis & Kresse products are hand-made and unique. The hose itself is weathered and marked, the ridges and grooves of a long life are self- evident. Some pieces may bear the printed details of the company that originally made the hose.
Fire-hose was just the beginning, with so much to save, they have grown by creating solutions for unwanted, unloved materials. Every effort is made to transform these materials into pieces they hope their customer will cherish.
Raw materials used in the Elvis & Kresse range are rescued from post consumer or industrial waste. They collect from across the UK and 50% of profits are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.
Although fire hoses were their first love, Elvis & Kresse reclaim a host of other materials including leather, printing blankets, coffee sacks, military-grade parachute silk, tea sacks and shoe boxes. So for example, most unroasted, green coffee is imported in 60kg jute or hessian sacks. Once the coffee beans arrive at their roastery, the often highly decorated, biodegradable sacks are disposed of. Whereas this brand re-use this material for various purposes, even down to individual strands for the string on our swing tags. Or when you’ve bought a pair of shoes and said “don’t wrap them, I’ll wear them”, the shoe box will more than likely have been thrown away (hopefully recycled). They collect these unwanted shoe boxes, flatten them and use the material to make our packaging and labels.