HEADLINES: Brands who deserve your dollars: Elvis & Kresse
Elvis & Kresse creatively reworks materials destined for the landfill to create luxury lifestyle accessories and home goods. The brand is guided by their three pillars: rescue, transform and donate.
The "rescue" pillar encompasses the first step in the production process. The process of upcycling began in 2005 when Elvis & Kresse discovered that the fire hoses used by the London Fire Brigade were shipped to the landfill once their usage as life-saving tools was over. The founders saw the potential in using the material to create something completely different than its intended purpose. Another fabric that Elvis & Kresse have started to use is parachute silk, which is unusable after getting small tears. But instead of letting the fabric head to the landfill, the brand realized its potential as a lining for their fire-hose bags and wallets. In addition to the fire hoses and parachutes, Elvis & Kresse have learned to rework materials like printing blankets, coffee and tea sacks, shoe boxes and auction banners. These landfill-bound materials find new lives as anything from the lining of their bags to their shipping packaging.
The beauty of Elvis & Kresse is how they think about materials creatively and find a purpose for them that may be so different from their original purpose that it was never imagined before. In addition to their own work, Elvis & Kresse have partnered with the Burberry Foundation to repurpose leather scraps wasted in the luxury fashion production process. The five-year partnership will see Elvis & Kresse receiving a grant from the Burberry foundation and reusing a minimum of 120 tons of leather scraps Burberry products for accessories and homeware. Half of the profits will go to renewable energy charities and the other half will be used to continue and expand their upcycling mission.
The second pillar that Elvis & Kresse stands behind is "transform." Due to the nature of upcycling, the brand’s process is flipped: While most designers start with an idea, Elvis & Kresse must start by identifying a problem. For example, the designers identified that there was a problem with how many fire hoses were being wasted. After they identified the issue, they moved on to creating products. The designers compare their process to kintsugi, which is “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold.”Similarly, Elvis & Kresse invest time and attention in making the materials more valuable than they were at any point in their previous life.
The final pillar is "donate." In addition to the upcycling process, the brand donates 50% of its profits to charities like the Firefighters Charity, WWF, Help for Heroes, Comic Relief and the British Forces Foundation. All the way through, from upcycling to donating, you can be sure that your dollars are well spent when you purchase Elvis & Kresse products.