27th March, 2023
At Alectro, we’re constantly on the lookout for sustainable and impact-driven alternatives to everyday items. This is an opportunity to share the brands that we love and that are making the world a greener place to live.
Elvis & Kresse transform used fire hoses into accessories such as purses, travel bags, belts, and others.
The goal for the company is to prevent more waste from ending up in landfills and give hoses a new lease on life.
Elvis & Kresse also donates a significant portion of its profits to charity to provide social, economic and environmental sustainability.
We caught up with Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, to discuss how they are changing the world of sustainable luxury accessories.
Why does Elvis & Kresse exist?
“I fell in love with Duraline hoses the moment I saw them in 2005, piled up on a rooftop at a fire station in Croydon, awaiting an imminent and undignified death in a landfill.
Fire hoses are decommissioned for one of two reasons;, they either reach the end of their 25-year end of their health and safety life, or they are too damaged to repair.
We weren’t entrepreneurs in search of an idea, we didn’t set out to make luxury accessories. We simply wanted to save hoses. We couldn’t let these lustrous, durable, life-saving coils of deep red nitrile rubber go. So we started with a simple range of belts and slowly grew from there.
Since 2005 we have rescued all of London’s decommissioned hoses and donated 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. These hoses are still working hard, long after their first life.”
What does Elvis & Kresse do best?
“There has been significant growth for businesses like Elvis & Kresse, which try to operate sustainably in many aspects looking at the environment, society and economy.
We believe that we are the best at transforming rescued fire hoses into luxury accessories but I think there is a bigger story here; we are incredibly good at doing things differently. We always take our hearts to work with us and want to deliver a business that is designed to solve environmental problems and operate at the highest ethical standards.
In addition, the last two decades have seen fast fashion, a lot of it operating without any kind of conscience. Many now think that in order to really change the fashion landscape we are going to have to legislate and change the way it works.”
What are the challenges of starting a sustainability journey for a business such as Elvis & Kresse?
“Setting up any kind of business is challenging. And there is no question that it is incredibly difficult to hold that business to a set of standards that are so much higher than any kind of industry norm. However, I have been asked this question many times and much prefer to answer it with another question: How difficult would it be to establish a business that relied on exploitation or environmental degradation in order to be profitable? Just imagine the emotional toll of that. I know this is something that I couldn't stomach. So let's not focus on the challenges. Let's focus on the incredible joy and honour of running a business like this. If you don't admit to having a problem, you don't have to address it. I think this is why we still have people who deny climate change. The scale of it is truly terrifying and it is just much easier to pretend it isn't happening. The most helpful thing any of us could have would be a level playing field. It should be illegal to profit from the destruction of our natural world and the abuse of human beings. A change in the Companies Act is required, shareholders should not come before the planet or people. The best news is that we already have a template for this change, the Better Business Act.”
Thanks so much to Kresse at Elvis & Kresse, for taking the time to talk to us about their sustainability journey.
If you're interested in finding out more, make sure to keep an eye on their socials @elvisandkresse and visit their website for updates or more information!
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