Fire hose fashion!
Recycled fashion is bang on trend but this is one of the most original such businesses I’ve come across. After a chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade (how do I engineer one of those without starting a fire?!) Canadian-born Kresse, one half of husband and wife team Elvis & Kresse, had a light bulb idea for turning old hoses into cool bags and belts.
Fire hoses can survive up to 25 years of active service but when they are too damaged to repair they are scrapped. There is no traditional way to recycle them but Kresse saw potential in the red (and yellow) coils. She and her husband, known to friends as ‘Elvis’, now run their business from a 200 year–old water mill in Tonge Mill in Kent, that they are also restoring. And they make everything from tote bags, purses and belts for women to weekend bags, washbags and wallets for men – all out of the rubbery recycled material. It’s a bonkers, yet totally brilliant, idea. I love it!
The material is strong and durable of course and the sense of history of the decommisioned fire-hoses give the end product a certain original charm. Who wouldn’t like thinking that some hunky man (or plucky woman for that matter) may have once used the material in your hands to save a life?
Not surprisingly, with this killer combination of style, quirkiness and eco-friendly credentials the upcycled accessories have developed something of a cult following.
Cameron Diaz was photographed by Mario Testino for a US Vogue shoot wearing an Elvis and Kresse belt. I’m thinking it’s the perfect birthday or Chrimbo present to give to anyone that likes to make a fashion statement that is both cool and green (red or yellow).
Elvis & Kresse, Tonge Mill, Church Road, Tonge, Kent, ME9 9AP, Tel: 07809 883 079, elvisandkresse.com