ELVIS AND KRESSE
"Its incredible what you can do with materials that would otherwise languish in landfill."
Kresse Wessling, founder, Elvis and Kresse
Since 2005 Elvis & Kresse have been rescuing raw materials, transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories and donating 50% of profits back to charities. The brands process emulates kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. The refurbished pieces are worth significantly more than their new, undamaged counterparts. The materials are shown this same level of care, they are cherished and extra value is created through the process.
After learning that London's damaged decommissioned hoses were headed to landfill the brand recognised an opportunity and put a stop to this. For over a decade now none of London's firehoses have gone to landfill, allowing over 170 tons of material to be reclaimed.
Decommissioned firehose Courtesy of Elvis and Kresse.
For Elvis & Kresse their design process begins with a problem. It is the material and the scale of the problem which dictate what the brand will make. In the case of the hose, the soot and grease that builds up after 25 years of active duty is scrubbed away, and a new item is crafted with a focus on quality craftsmanship and classic, timeless design. Styles range from wallets to totes, clutches, belts and coin purses, come with a reclaimed military-grade parachute silk dust bag and feature reclaimed materials such as auction banners for linings.
Elvis and Kresse's products are build to last, combining world-class craftsmanship with timeless design and they offer repairs for life. The brand is also a certified social enterprise and a founding UK B Corp. They employ and train apprentices to nurture the next generation of craftspeople in the United Kingdom. The sustainability story does not stop there. Elvis and Kresse are powered by renewable energy and their packaging is also made from rescued material. The brand held an open studio this year as part of Fashion Revolution week and also welcomes visitors year round to its open workshop in Kent.
In 2017 the Burberry Foundation partnered with Elvis & Kresse to tackle the even greater global problem of leather waste. It is estimated that each year, at least 800,000 tonnes of leather waste are produced by the global leather industry. In the creation of leather goods, even when patterns are carefully planned to maximise the hide, the process inevitably creates small off cuts. These are high quality, unused, freshly tanned and dyed leather, but fall to the workshop floor as seemingly unusable pieces. Elvis & Kresse has designed a system that transforms these fragments into components, which are then hand woven into a new kind of hide that is unrestricted by size or shape.This Five-year partnership will see at least 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts from Burberry recrafted into new luxury items, designed and sold by Elvis & Kresse.
With innovative thinking and a history of crafting desirable and well-made products, this sustainable future focussed brand is one to keep your eye on.
Fire and Hide Clutch | Elvis and Kresse.