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Elvis & Kresse

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ELVIS & KRESSE: WHAT IS IT?

Elvis & Kresse combines traditional handcraft techniques with modern innovation to create sleek and durable holdalls, wallets, bags and purses. It’s no surprise the brand continues to win awards for its pioneering approach to style.

The iconic, distinctive designs champion reworked hardwearing materials, most of which revolve around London’s decommissioned fire-hose and saving it from landfill.

Multi-coloured clutches and bright yellow laptop bags turn beautiful reclaimed materials into bold and fashionable statement pieces. Elsewhere, belts, phone cases and notebooks carry the unmistakable texture of the hose material.

This approach has made their weekend bag museum-worthy – and not just any museum, the V&A, no less.

Here’s how they do it:

ELVIS & KRESSE: HOW SUSTAINABLE IS IT?

Extremely, to sum up in one word. Elvis & Kresse’s mission to salvage materials began in 2005, when co-founder Kresse Wesling discovered that London fire houses discard damaged hoses to landfill.

The brand collected the hoses and began crafting holdalls, bags and wallets, instead of allowing the thick durable material being thrown out. An impressive 100% of the raw materials are rescued or reclaimed. Today, Elvis & Kresse rescues every rejected hose from every fire station in London, so far amounting to saving a whopping 225 tons of materials from landfill.

The team also collects failed military grade parachute silk for bag linings. They rescue tea sacks from fellow B-Corp, Clipper Tea (they have collected more than 225 tonnes of material to date), and take on decommissioned auction banners from London auction houses. All of the materials are put to seriously innovative use.

What’s more, Elvis & Kresse is in a five-year partnership with fashion giant Burberry. The ultimate goal is to save at least 120 tonnes of leather cut-offs from being thrown away.

This collaboration feeds into the overall aim to reduce manufacturing waste and create jobs for skilled craftspeople.

The brand operates with a close-knit supply chain, so they can ensure high working standards and pay above living wages for their handcrafted work. They have two workshops, in Kent and Istanbul – pre-Covid Elvis visited the workshop in Istanbul every two months to guarantee quality and a safe working environment.

The packaging is made with 100% recycled materials, and even the team’s business cards are laser-etched on rescued flight strips.

Their UK workshop was so energy efficient that it has a negative carbon impact on the planet. They’ve now moved to a bigger premise, a 17-acre farm, because they’re aiming to be Net Regenerative by 2030.

They say: “We can and should grow, but only if this growth is renewably fuelled, if more materials are rescued, if we can donate more to our charity partners.”

As if that’s not enough, 50% of profits from the fire hose products go to the Fire Fighters Charity and 50% of profits from their leather project go to Barefoot College, where they create scholarships for female solar engineers.

ELVIS & KRESSE: WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

Heaps of stylish stores stock Elvis & Kresse, but for the widest range of products you’re best shopping online.

elvisandkresse.com

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