Wouldn’t You Though?
Recycled fashion is bang on trend, but this is one of the most original upcycling 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.
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 rich, lustrous coils of red. She knew they could have a second life and so Elvis (her husband’s nickname) & Kresse was born. The couple 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. What a kind of bonkers, and yet totally brilliant, idea. I love it!
The strong material and sense of history of the decommissioned fire-hoses give the end product a certain original charm that will definitely appeal to those who like a raw edginess to their fashion.
Not surprisingly, with this killer combination of style, quirkiness and eco-friendly credentials the upcycled accessories have developed something of a cult following. Here’s a little snap of me, below, hanging out in one of their belts when I was on holiday recently.
Oh no, my mistake, that’s Cameron Diaz as photographed by Mario Testino for US Vogue (but I was telling the truth about the belt…). I’m thinking it’s the perfect Chrimbo present to give to anyone that likes to make a fashion statement that is both cool and green (red or yellow).