London-based company Elvis and Kresse is tackling leather waste, one purse at a time, with products made from rescued materials like fire hoses and parachutes.
Launched in 2005, the company had a chance encounter with the London Fire Brigade. Upon learning that the brigade’s decommissioned fire hoses were headed to the landfill, the brand was determined to make a rescue and recycle them into bags, wallets, purses, and other leather goods.
For over a decade now, none of London’s hoses has gone to landfill, and after the brand’s initiative, more than 180 tons of material have been reclaimed.
The brand’s product range includes wallets, purses, clutch bags, wash bags, belts, satchels, car holders and travel accessories made from fire hoses, parachute silk, printing blanket, leather, coffee sack, shoe boxes, tea sacks, and auction banners.
“We do three things,” co-founder Kresse Wesling tells Cena Magazine. “We rescue materials. We transform them into beautiful things. And we donate 50 per cent of the profits.”
She continued that if one can duplicate the same sustainability model to any waste collected, there’s no end to the problems they can tackle with creativity and the right mindset.
“We dream of a time without landfill, when everything is reused, revalued, recycled or composted,” she concluded.
The luxury brand donates 50 per cent of its profits to charities related to the unique materials it rescues on a “range to range” basis.
Some charities the company donates to include the Fire Fighters Charity, Barefoot Youth, WWF, Help for Heroes, Comic Relief, and British Forces Foundation.