• Laura

UPCYCLED LUXURY

Updated: May 15, 2018

#livewcare #designwcare #sustainablecompanies


Keeping fire hose in service @elvisandkresse create stunning lifestyle and home accessories by re-engineering seemingly useless waste and combines them with traditional craftsmanship. Elvis & Kresse says that for more than 10 years, they have reclaimed more than 170 tonnes of material. Now this is what we call Conscious Luxury!

If you can't trust the BBC to do their homework then I don't know who else you could turn to!


WHERE DID THE IDEA OF ELVIS&KRESSE COME FROM?

In 2005 I had a chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade and had 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 us - Elvis & I.

We mounted a rescue, and over the last 13 years we have saved all of London’s hoses, transforming them into a timeless range of luxury accessories and donating 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. From the very first day we had a unique DNA: rescue, transform, donate.


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHOOSE TO SOURCE RAW MATERIALS SUCH AS FIRE -HOSES AND LEATHER SCRAPS?

We have always been inspired by two things - the problem and the potential. In the year that we started Elvis & Kresse 100 million tonnes of waste went into British landfill sites. When you examine it closely, this enormous challenge is really quite a beautiful one for innovators and creators. We have never had any interest in design for the sake of design, we want to solve problems. It is the waste issue itself that drives us. The reason we have chosen both fire-hose and leather off-cuts, in particular, is that we really felt they had enormous potential. We knew that if we poured our hearts into these under-loved materials that they could be transformed into something spectacular, something that would prove the futility of waste.


CAN YOU FURTHER EXPLAIN HOW YOU TRANSFORM

LEFTOVER BURBERRY LEATHER INTO RUGS?

Our first interior items are our rescued leather rugs. Each one is made to order from hand-cut, handwoven pieces of leather reclaimed from the production of Burberry leather goods. No matter how carefully patterns for leather goods are planned, high quality, unused, freshly tanned and dyed leather falls to the cutting room floor as seemingly unusable pieces.

Our system transforms these leather fragments into components, three complementary shapes, which are then hand woven, piece by piece, into whole new hides.

The most unique aspect of our rugs is their modular nature; it means that we can create bespoke sizes and patterns and that the rugs can be both repaired and reinvented through time. We have also used this same system to make door-stops, upholstery and tapestries.


WHAT OTHER TYPES OF PRODUCTS DO YOU REPURPOSE?

We reclaim over 10 different materials on a regular basis. All of these share a few similar characteristics: They are niche wastes, there are no traditional recycling method to recover them, and we feel that our design process has the potential to create enormous environmental and social value as well as a long-term solution. We collect decommissioned fire-hoses, failed parachute silk, tea and coffee sacks, auction banners, printing blankets, split scaffolding boards, and increasingly, leather waste.


HOW MUCH WASTE MATERIAL

HAVE YOU RESCUED SINCE STARTING ELVIS&KRESSE?

We have reclaimed over 200 tonnes of material and counting!


WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING NEXT WITH HOME GOODS?

The potential of our system is truly limitless. For example, we just made an enormous statement rug for an eco-hotel in Montana, we are finishing a ‘customer designed’ rug for a client in Singapore, we are completing an upholstery project for a revolutionary hydrogen vehicle company, and we have just started a large format tapestry for a hotel in Nashville. We will be making everything from flooring to furniture and all kinds of bespoke, statement pieces. Watch this space as Elvis already has some new design ideas under his belt.



Explore Elvis & Kresse HERE

Elvis & Kresse Home Accessories will be soon available in our Online Shop!


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