Elvis & Kresse design and make products out of reclaimed fire hoses. Minimal Wallet caught up with them recently to find out more about them.
Q. Briefly tell us about Elvis & Kresse who you are and how you got started?
A. Fire hose was the first material we found when Kresse moved to the UK. In 2005 we had a chance meeting with the London Fire Brigade and learned about their hose problem. We fell in love with the stunning, life saving material and began collecting it immediately. We made two promises to the London Fire Brigade, that we would help, and that we would donate 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. Having kept those promises is the highlight of our design careers so far.
Q. What made you decide to make wallets, card holders etc out of fire-hoses?
A. Our primary goal was to create a long-term, sustainable solution for the London hoses. The business decisions we make, including the choice of luxury accessories, have been about solving the hose problem in the best, most inspiring way. There aren’t enough hoses for us to make roof tiles, there is too much work involved to make low value items, and there is no point rescuing this incredibly durable, history rich material, unless we are going to honour it with the best possible designs and craftsmanship. By 2010 we had solved the problem for London and now collect across the UK.
Q. Are you looking to add any other designs? What’s the future hold for Elvis & Kresse?
A. We are introducing new pieces all the time – we have a mini-messenger and a small compact case that will both be out by the end of March. Equally we are always taking on new materials. Although we started with the hose we now regularly reclaim over 10 other materials, always with the same goal, to create a complete solution for that material and to give 50% of the profits from that range to a related charity.
Q. Which famous person would you love to get an order from for one of your wallets? and why?
A. We have a number of heroes, leaders, it would be incredible to see them wearing our accessories; Aung San Suu Kyi, Ellen MacArthur, Al Gore, Bunker Roy, Muhammad Yunus, Usain Bolt, Sir Ranulf Fiennes, Wayne Gretzky (Kresse is Canadian), James Dyson, Stephen Hawking, Bradley Wiggins, Vivienne Westwood, Joni Mitchell, David Beckham, Jamie Oliver, Oprah Winfrey…