Member Since 2011
Elvis & Kresse, a British accessories and home design firm that was launched in 2007, uses only reclaimed materials—mainly old fire hoses—to create its products. “We source our materials across Europe and are also looking at starting collections in North America, says company co-founder Kresse Wesling. “We’ve reclaimed over 165 tons of waste, representing 10 different types of materials.”
How were they made?
First we reclaim the hose, collecting it regularly from brigades to save them valuable space, then we begin a very long cleaning and preparing process. Although our process is totally different from hiding and tanning leather, it’s probably just as difficult. We only use water, no chemicals, so there is a lot of elbow grease involved. Depending on what we are going to make, we may then have to thin the hose down and remove the fuzz if the nylon core has been breached. All of our products are then sewn by hand, then hand packed in either reclaimed mesh dust covers or waste tea sack pouches and labeled using cardboard cut from shoe boxes, sticky labels that were end-of-line and tied on with strips of jute from reclaimed coffee sacks... we use waste wherever possible.
What was the big aha! you had while creating this product?
We have a big aha almost every week—learning new ways to innovate with the hose and other materials is a constant challenge that provides continuous excitement.
Can you describe your creative process?
We mull things over for a very long time—and we are very happy to try and fail, always working to improve our techniques and the products. Elvis is the chief designer, and spends most of his time developing pieces and pushing them forward. He’s always thinking of making the most useful product as our main aim is to make items that are true classics, pieces that people can use everyday and will treasure over time.
What do you love about what you do?
I have always been obsessed with waste so being able to transform it as we do is all I need to jump out of bed in the morning.
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
Utilitarian. That and we want everyone to love our wastes as much as we do.
What are you working on next?
We have started reclaiming a metallic film from Switzerland—very, very cool stuff.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
This really is it—we just want to be doing it on a larger scale.