Elvis & Kresse has rescued and transformed all of London’s damaged fire hoses since 2005
50% of their profits are donated to charity
In 2005 Kresse Wesling had a chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade and a very emotional response to their damaged, decommissioned fire hose. It was too heroic and too beautiful for landfill. Somebody had to do something, and those somebodies were Elvis & Kresse (Kresse and her partner James ‘aka Elvis’ Henrit).
They mounted a rescue, and over the last 13 years have saved all of London’s hoses, transforming them into a range of luxury accessories and donating 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. From the first day Elvis & Kresse had a unique DNA: rescue, transform, donate.
They don’t recycle per se, they redefine materials by cherishing them, honoring them, and embedding craftsmanship and design into them, ensuring their next life is a full one. They are re-engineering who design for utility, not for seasonality. They are also committed to repairing any of our products, prolonging their life as much as possible.
Over the last 13 years, Elvis & Kresse has grown to tackle more than 10 unique materials, from tea sacks to printing blankets, always with the same methodology. They have developed a unique voice in the luxury industry and are now tackling their greatest ever challenge, the 800,000 tonnes of leather off-cuts that are generated each year by the global leather industry.
In the creation of leather goods, even when patterns are carefully planned to maximize the hide, the process inevitably creates small offcuts. 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.
In November 2017 Elvis & Kresse launched a 5-year partnership with the Burberry Foundation to scale their leather waste solution. To mark the announcement Kresse said: “When we decided to tackle the much, much larger leather problem, we knew we would need a brave partner. We are grateful for the support of the Burberry Foundation and are truly excited to scale this solution and magnify its impact. This is the kind of work we are made for and this is the kind of partnership that will change the future of luxury.”
The brand is also proud to announce that they have garnered the attention of the BBC.
A Kent company is rescuing London's discarded fire hose and transforming them into luxury goods. pic.twitter.com/RHgRxduMMu
— BBC South East (@bbcsoutheast) May 8, 2018
The Burberry Foundation
The Burberry Foundation was set up in 2008 by Burberry Group plc as an independent charity (the UK registered charity number 1154468) for general charitable purposes and grant-making. The Foundation Board comprises two Burberry representatives as well as an independent trustee. The Board meets four times a year and is responsible for upholding the Foundation’s vision and ensuring delivery of its charitable purpose.
The Foundation is dedicated to using the power of creativity to drive positive change in our communities and build a sustainable future through innovation. The Foundation is taking a long-term approach focusing its grant-making on reducing waste, promoting the STEAM agenda (integrating art into the traditional science, technology, engineering, and maths agenda), tackling educational inequality and supporting social and economic development.