We’re truly inspired and honoured to have Elvis & Kresse with us at Supernomad. We wanted to tell their story:
Elvis & Kresse have been reclaiming heroic materials ever since they fell in love with London Fire Brigade's decommissioned fire-hose. After a distinguished career fighting fires and saving lives the hoses were destined for landfill. They started to rescue it in 2005 and never looked back.
More materials soon followed and the challenge was the same every time - what can they do to prove value, change perception, and respect these resources.
There are far too many incredible materials that will either languish under ground or suffer the indignity of incineration; when that happens we lose - we lose quality, narrative, and the opportunity to do something great. So Elvis & Kresse intercede, choosing story-laden (we do love a story!) materials of incredible character to ensure their second life is as long as possible.
The fire hoses are transformed; made desirable or useful, something you would want even if it were not recycled, even without the ethics. For instance, Evis & Kresse spent five years perfecting the Billfold Wallet - ensuring malleability, strength, and classic, practical styling. This pursuit of perfection is still ongoing, as is the creative process for developing new products: The Tooley Tote is the beautiful result of a collaboration with iconic leather craftsman Bill Amberg, and is inspired by the story of the fire that started in 1861 in Tooley Street; it burned for two weeks, ultimately leading to the creation of London’s first fire brigade.
The Elvis & Kresse process emulates kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. The refurbished pieces are worth significantly more than their new, undamaged counterparts. The Elvis & Kresse materials are shown this same level of care, they are cherished.
The story of social integrity is also key: Elvis & Kresse was established to solve environmental problems, waste problems in particular. Their success is measured by how much waste they are able to divert from landfill and how much money they are able to give back to their charities; Elvis & Kresse re-distributes up to 50% of profits to projects and charities related to the unique materials they reclaim. 50% of the profits from the fire hose range are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.
We love that after scrubbing away the soot that builds up over 25 years of active duty, Elvis & Kresse were able to uncover a truly remarkable textile which is ‘green’ in its true sense. The hose itself is weathered and marked, evidence of a long life clearly seen in the ridges and grooves. Some pieces also bear the printed details of the company who originally made them. Some are lined with recycled military-grade parachute silk. Each item really is unique and it would be hard to find a better fit for that most beloved of fashion mots – vintage.
Please see our edit of inspired pieces by Elvis & Kresse here