Elvis & Kresse

Business • Swale

Upcycling decommissioned fire hose equipment into luxury fashion products to prevent it going to landfill.

  • Tote
  • made from rescued materials with 50% of profits going to charity.
  • Wallet

Our story

We fell in love with Duraline hoses the moment we saw them, in 2005, piled up on a rooftop at a fire station in Croydon, awaiting an imminent and undignified death in landfill.

Fire hoses are decommissioned for one of two reasons, they either reach the 25-year end of their health and safety life or they are too damaged to repair. They either miraculously survive 25 years of active service, or they die trying.

We weren't entrepreneurs in search of an idea, we didn't set out to make luxury accessories. We simply wanted to save the hose. We couldn't let these rich, durable, life-saving, lustrous coils of deep red nitrile rubber go.

Elvis learned to sew. We started with a simple range of belts and grew slowly from there. We have rescued all of London's decommissioned hoses since 2005, and have donated 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. So these hoses are still working hard, long after their first life. Imagine that, hoses that were supposed to die in landfill are instead helping injured firefighters.

The company now collects 12 different waste streams and has several charitable partnerships and collaborations across industries. In 2021 Elvis & Kresse also took on a farm in order to establish a regenerative agriculture project, generate their own renewables and implement a host of environmental initiatives.

Our advice

- Research is key. You have to be an expert in the problem you are trying to solve... Don't always leap to solutions... really, really get your problem.

- Put a community at the heart of your business... And be genuine about this. Then you are never really on your own... it becomes a shared enterprise.

- People... you won't always make the right decisions about people but learn how to spot people who will truly build with you, who love/hate your problem like you do and have the skills that you don't.

Our metrics

We measure the waste that we rescue and the donations that we make.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Action Area

Circular Economy

Positive Impacts

Less Waste

Location

Swale

Response to climate crisis

Mitigation

Reach

Region

Organisation

Business, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Kresse Wesling

Updated Feb, 2024

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