May 05, 2023
April 20, 2023
Every single piece we make is a one-of-a-kind.
Why is this?
It is primarily due to our cherished raw materials. They are rescued. They have lived a life before coming to us. Fire-hoses change with age, they darken, they weather, they get lovely scars as they go about their business saving lives. The hoses are also stamped with their brand, Angus Duraline, their type, their British Standard mark and their date of extrusion. When we clean the hose and cut it into patterns to stitch into our final pieces these marks all fall in different places.
Our leather off-cuts are also all distinct. We rescue the small pieces that are unusable for our partners, or the leather that they reject because of the texture: stretch marks, insect bites, or imperfections that we love to celebrate! When we cut the leather into our system, then weave and stitch them into place the variations in the material always create a unique signature.
This week we had 40 guests from the University of Victoria in our workshop, and many of them were pleased to choose not just an Elvis & Kresse piece, but the precise item from a batch that really caught their eye. As one guest closely examined more than 20 of our Classic Tote bags before deciding on the one she liked the best, we thought how amazing it would be to host a reunion at the farm, for all our Totes. We have been making the Classic Hose Tote for more than 15 years. As each one is distinct, we could guarantee that everyone would take their own bag home.
It is true, that two pieces can be made to the same pattern, and may be similar, but they would never be the same.
March 20, 2023
We were thinking about the best way to celebrate B Corp month and that prompted a discussion on our favourite things about being a B Corp. I can sum it up in one word... community.
B Corps work together and support each other. How?
They collaborate. We have worked with so many other B Corps but here are a few examples.
They promote each other. Allbirds just hosted two fellow B Corp founders at an International Women's Day event, myself and Stephanie Jordan from Avallen. I have also spoken at events organised by Coutts, the Guardian, Oxwash and many more!
And we are working together to truly make business a force for good. The UK B Corp movement is a driver behind the Better Business Act, which brings together businesses to change the UK law to ensure every company in the UK aligns their interests with those of wider society and the environment.
This also means that there will be critics - and there will be growing pains. In February 2023 the FT wrote an article about the struggle for the soul of the movement and I don't think this is a bad thing. We are collectively trying to do something amazing, in a dream world all businesses would be striving to be B Corps and then, once certified, would be striving to improve. And it is worth noting is that each and every one of these businesses, including mine, is putting its head above the parapet. The best businesses, particularly the vocal ones, invite the most scrutiny and often criticism. One of Elvis' favourite quotes? Elbert Hubbard. "To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing...." Well, given the challenges we face, we need more talking, more doing and a lot more 'being something'.
December 31, 2022
So what did we do this year? The short answer is a lot, but here is our top 9.
As per usual there were a lot of mistakes, a lot to learn, but also so much joy. We have a great team and all really love the community that we are building at and around the farm. We definitely need a break but are already itching to tackle the new plans we have for 2023, in particular the restart of our DIY workshops which had been postponed for 3 years, the first two and a bit due to Covid and then due to our unfinished workshop. We already have 5 fully booked workshops for early 2023 and a few spots still available here. We also have more than ten big group gatherings planned at the farm, to forge, to farm and to share everything we know about how to change the fashion system.
Here is to 2023, to doing more, and doing it better.
December 28, 2022
Over the last few years we have been increasingly asked about the circular economy, and in particular circular fashion - what is it? Is Elvis & Kresse a circular fashion brand? How is the circular economy philosophy a more sustainable approach?
Before we dive into the detail, just think of nature; the natural world (prior to our desecration of it) is inherently circular. Water cycles, plants grow in the summer and die in the winter, feeding the ground for next year's growth. In the animal world we have amazing specialists - like vultures, carrion beatles and fungi - which are phenomenal at recycling formerly living tissues.
At its core the circular economy is a nature inspired roadmap for all of our human activities; it takes responsibility for the entire lifecycle of any product or service and minimises waste at every opportunity. This starts at conception, the idea, through to the resourcing of materials, the design, the manufacture, the packaging, delivery, use and crucially the end-of-life of everything we consume.
A truly circular product leaves absolutely no trace. It will use either naturally compostable, reclaimed or rescued materials, it will be manufactured with renewable energy, it will have negative or neutral carbon logistics and, once the service is fulfilled or the product is worn out, there will be an established plan to ensure that any materials can be returned to nature, re-used or re-engineered into something else. Nothing goes to landfill or incineration, nothing is wasted, everything is utilised to its full potential and then re-utilised, perpetually.
Within this, there are also many other facets to consider and it can get delightfully complex. Imagine a tube of toothpaste, for it to be circular you have to consider every ingredient in the paste, every component of the packaging, how everything is shipped and even what happens to the residual toothpaste when you spit it out! For us it is also crucial to consider fair working conditions and wages for workers in the supply chain. We think that capital also has to flow in a circular way, benefitting the many and not just the few. There is a significant amount of cross-over with slow fashion, which we’ve spoken about before.
Let’s take a look at each of these ideas in a little more detail:
“Every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill.”
Ellen Macarthur Foundation
A key focus of the circular economy is to eliminate even the idea of waste. We firmly believe that enough materials already exist to sustain the fashion industry and that new raw materials or synthetic materials do not need to be produced - we need to re-use, rescue and reclaim and where reuse is not possible, recycle.
By manufacturing less synthetic materials, mining less or farming less crops for textile production we can massively reduce energy and water usage, we can reduce chemical and fossil fuel pollution, we can stop poisoning local and global ecosystems. If, as an industry, we opted to use materials that have already been created, design products for longevity instead of seasonality and create them in such a way that they can be re-engineered into something else at the end of their usefulness we could, quite literally, change the world for the better.
As well as raw materials, another fundamental tenet of the circular economy is zero waste design. By reducing, or ideally eliminating, wastage by designing for the resource, rather than for the sake of an end product, we would automatically be reducing the demand for new materials.
If patterns were to maximise the use of materials in their raw state, the amount of off-cuts would be minimal and, as we demonstrate, off-cuts can still be crafted into something beautiful. The design process itself needs to be re-engineered, Elvis & Kresse are proof that this can be done. Since 2005 we have been calling this Backward Design:
The final fundamental of the Circular Economy is an end-of-life plan for the product. Unfortunately, nothing can last forever (except possibly microplastics, but that’s for another post) and wear and tear does happen. So once a product has fulfilled its use or is worn out - what is in place to stop it from going to landfill or incineration? The answers here are endless and entirely depend on the product and the materials used - but keep reading for how we approach this.
Elvis & Kresse started with a waste problem. When Kresse discovered that heroic decommissioned fire-hoses were sent to landfill she knew she wanted to save them. At the time, the how didn’t exist - but with some hard work, creativity and trial and error, Elvis & Kresse learned everything there was to know about nitrile rubber and began to experiment. First came belts, then wallets and purses, bags and accessories followed, even fire-hose coupling candlestick holders are available to ensure the entire hose is gifted a new life.
Along the way, other waste streams were introduced and rescued - failed military grade parachute silk panels and also off-cuts are collected from a manufacturer in Wales and serve as linings or dust covers for many of our pieces. A partnership with the Burberry Foundation super-charged our 'rescued leather' project, where we transform leather scraps into components that can be made into new textiles, but also unmade, for future re-use.
Each new waste stream is analysed and researched thoroughly before becoming part of the Elvis & Kresse production process. We first make sure that we can use the material completely, with as little waste as possible. We then design products around the material - a length of hose is 10cm wide, so all our patterns have 10cm panels, or are based on divisions of 10cm.
It’s not just production where we aim to minimise waste though. We have built our own near-passive workshop in Faversham, Kent. It is constructed from locally grown straw bales, locking in carbon and providing an incredible amount of insulation. We generate and store enough energy to power and heat our incredibly efficient space. Our rainwater harvesting system covers the majority of our water needs and the combination of an air-source heat pump and an MVHR system (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) keeps the internal temperature steady regardless of the weather conditions outside. Find out all about the construction of our workshop and everything we’ve done to stay as passive as possible here.
We are also incredibly conscious of our product lifecycles. We rescue beautiful materials and want them to enjoy a full second life, hopefully for decades to come. We understand that wear and tear can happen so we offer repairs, at cost, for life. We would much rather one of our pieces come back to us for repair rather than being discarded. We also design as many of our products as possible to have a future after being re-engineered again. The leather we use is woven together then stitched - this means that at the end of its life, a bag or purse can be unstitched and the leather pieces remade into something else. We also take on well-loved materials for bespoke projects like heirloom leather jackets or even a favourite family tent!
Unfortunately, not every pattern can be entirely zero-waste (though a lot of ours are) so we’ve also found uses for the off-cuts of our off-cuts. When you receive an Elvis & Kresse piece it will be presented in a dust cover or reusable shopper - made from parachute silk, or a presentation box made from printing blanket.
This all sounds quite positive, doesn’t it? So what are the downsides of Circular Fashion and why aren’t more brands and companies adopting the circular economy?
Simply put; complexity, greed and issues with volume.
Fashion is a tough nut to crack because of how long, convoluted and opaque the supply chain is. Long gone are the days when fashion was locally made from exclusively natural (biodegradable) materials and dyes.
Circular fashion isn’t yet as ‘profitable’ as fast fashion (if your definition of profitable is solely financial). While significant demand exists for cheap, disposable clothing, there will always be brands that will fulfil the demand. With no demand, there would be no supply. Equally, with no legislation to stop companies from exploiting people in their supply chain (modern slavery is an enormous issue in both food and fashion) or degrading ecosystems, companies can get away with profit maximisation at the expense of people and planet.
Finally, and truly problematically is that at its current size and churn rate the fashion system could never be sustainably circular - too many materials and resources are being used full stop. We need volumes to come down dramatically.
We can’t force change alone, but we are consistently proving that it is possible to create beautiful, valuable new pieces from discarded materials. If other brands take note, legislators act with courage and more people like you choose to buy circular, change will come.
Crafted from rescued leather, decommissiond fire-hose and failed parachutes.
Our most popular piece - decommissioned yellow or red fire-hose lined with reclaimed parachute silk.
December 27, 2022
On Monday 12th December, Dr. Alejandro Giammattei, President of the Republic of Guatemala, presented the 2022 Presidential Environmental Medal to Barefoot College International at a ceremony held in the Mirror Hall of the Presidential Palace.
We’ve supported Barefoot College International since 2019, donating 50% of the profits from our Fire & Hide range to Barefoot's Solar Mamas initiative, training rural women in Guatemala to become solar engineers. These women are then able to provide renewable power for their villages and help train the next generation.
The award is the highest recognition given by the Guatemalan state to organisations or individuals for environmental work and was first presented in 1992. The presentation of this award to BCI is a testament to the effort and dedication of the organisation, which was originally created in India and has been working in Guatemala for ten years with outstanding achievements in the conservation, promotion, improvement, and protection of the environment.
The award was presented by the President to Rodrigo Paris, CEO of Barefoot College International. Also present at the medal presentation ceremony were Ing. Gerson Elías Barrios Garrido, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources; Manoj Kumar, Mohapatra, Ambassador of India in Guatemala; and Manu Singh, A Barefoot College International teacher.
Two Solar Mama’s were in attendance at the ceremony, Juana Emelia de León Marcos, an indigenous Guatemalan woman who trained as a Solar Engineer in India in 2020. Since her training with BCI, Juana has become a Solar Master Trainer, and has trained a dozen women from Guatemala to bring solar energy to isolated communities in the most vulnerable and isolated areas of the country.
She was joined by Mrs Rosenda Francisca García, who lost her husband early this year yet finished the first training solar program in Guatemala. She will provide light to more than 34 houses in her community, Cumbre de La Botija, by January.
More About Barefoot College International
Barefoot College International is a non-profit organisation that works in over 90 countries around the world to directly address 14 of the 17 UN Sustainability Goals. They create solutions for people and planet through grassroots programmes that work in partnership with rural communities to fight climate change, create sustainable economic uplift and address the global skills gap.
Through their Solar, Education, Agri Livelihoods, Enriche, Water and Health programmes, they make vocational educational opportunities accessible to women and girls from marginalised rural communities. Through these programmes women, colloquially known as ‘Solar Mamas’, become agents of economic, social and environmental change, stewarding their communities to a more sustainable future; protecting rural ways of life; putting themselves into leadership positions; and passing on knowledge and skills for generations to come.
To date, the flagship Solar programme has trained more than 2,200 illiterate or semi-literate women as Solar Engineers, training them to build, install and maintain solar home lighting systems. These women have gone on to impact the lives of more than 2 million people through environmentally friendly energy, subsequently improving education, health and livelihood outcomes in their home communities.
Barefoot College International is known for its ability to bring about systems and policy change through innovative partnerships with National Governments, Private sector and Philanthropic investment. They have now established a series of international training centres in 4 Indian states, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Madagascar, Guatemala and are due to open a centre in Fiji.
In 2021 they were recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of India’s top 50 last-mile solutions to the Covid-19 pandemic, and in 2020 they were, for the 7th consecutive year, recognised within Top 20 of the Global Journal’s 500 NGO ranking list.
Find out more about Barefoot College International and their innovative programmes on their website.50% of the profit from our Fire & Hide range is donated to Barefoot College International.
December 12, 2022
With deliveries potentially being disrupted due to the postal strikes we'd like to help ease the pressure with a shopping evening at our workshop in Faversham.
On Thursday 15th December we'll be open until 7pm for anyone who would like to pop in and do some Christmas shopping. As well as the opportunity to peruse our full range, Elvis & Kresse will be here to answer any questions and there will be mulled cider and spiced apple juice on hand - as well as Kresse's famous shortbread-mince-pie-cookies.
We're also here from 8:30am to 5pm every weekday, so if Thursday evening doesn't suit you feel free to just pop in!
Elvis & Kresse, New Barns Farm, Box Lane, Painters Forstal, ME13 0RU
December 01, 2022
Phone, keys, decommissioned fire-hose wallet? Check! The Elvis & Kresse Billfold Wallet is a staple of our men’s luxury accessories collection. A classic billfold design, with a partition for notes, space for cards and made from genuine rescued fire-hose this is the ultimate sustainable way to carry your cash.
The Elvis & Kresse design ethos is a little different, some would even say unusual. We start with the rescued materials, making sure we waste nothing and divert everything we can from landfill, more than anything else, the materials we reclaim dictate our design. Elvis spent two years developing this ethical Billfold Wallet until we were happy with it. Fire-hose is an amazing, robust, beautiful material and lends itself perfectly to pieces that enjoy everyday use.
Sleek, stylish, resilient and contactless card friendly - this wallet wastes nothing.
The Elvis & Kresse Billfold wallet measures 9.5cm in height, 12cm in width, and 1.5cm in depth (when closed and empty). It is sleek enough to fit in an inside, side or back pocket without creating unnecessary bulk.
The size lends itself perfectly to zero-waste design as the diameter of firehose is 10cm.
The low profile design means this piece won’t break your silhouette or look overly cumbersome in your pockets but there is still plenty of room inside for what you need to carry every day. The fire-hose Billfold Wallet has space for 8 credit or debit cards and 2 additional pockets for business cards as well as a partitioned note section to keep your foreign currency separate.
The fire-hose exterior is tough but malleable and is water resistant and wipe-clean making this the ideal everyday, sustainable wallet.
All our ethical products are hand finished. We are a slow fashion brand through and through. Each piece is produced in a small batch to ensure the highest quality (which in turn, prevents waste). A subtle Elvis & Kresse logo is laser etched onto each piece. Corners and edges are hand painted and the Billfold Wallet is presented in a reclaimed printing blanket pouch - which you can re-use too.
Personalisation is available on our Billfold Wallet - we can laser etch a message, phrase, initials or dates on the inner left panel to make this a wonderful sustainable gift, or memento.
As well as helping us reduce waste (and looking good while doing it), 50% of the profits from our Fire-Hose Collection are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity and 50% of the profits from our Fire & Hide Collection are donated to Barefoot College International. Find out more about these charities and our donations here.
Dimensions: 9.5 x 12 x 1.5cm
Personalisation Available: Yes
Note Sections: 2
Card Spaces: 8 Credit/Debit, 2 Business
Exterior: Genuine Decommissioned Fire-Hose
Interior: Rescued Parachute Silk
Amount of materials given a new life:
Parachute Silk: 0.15m2
November 20, 2022
Slow fashion is a term that is being increasingly used to describe ethical clothing and accessory companies, but with the prevalence of greenwashing rising at a similar rate here’s our take on slow fashion and ethical production.
Slow fashion is exactly what it sounds like. At its most basic level, it encompasses clothing and accessories that are crafted more slowly and with more consideration. Slow fashion pieces are designed to last, to be reused, to be looked after. Slow fashion companies do not put out new collections on a quarterly, monthly or weekly basis; they produce in small batches, they make products to order, and they only release new pieces when they feel they have something genuinely interesting to add to their collection and offer to their custodians. Custodians is an important word here, slow fashion products aren’t designed to be ‘consumed’, so it isn’t appropriate to talk about ‘consumers’. Slow fashion is an ethos as much as it is a production method, it’s the choice to use materials consciously, it’s the choice to ensure the people involved in producing these pieces are safe and paid fairly, it’s the choice to ensure there is as little negative environmental impact as possible from the process involved in creation.
At the time of writing this, I’m wearing a jumper I have worn regularly for the last 14 years. Yes, it’s a little tired in some places now, but I love this jumper and I hope to be wearing it for several more years.
When we invest in clothing and accessories, are more mindful of what has gone into the creation and manufacture of those pieces and are more understanding of the impact that production can have on our environment and fellow humans, we can use our choices for good.
Fast fashion creates a lot of problems. From the garment workers being paid wages below the poverty line to the chemicals and microplastics from synthetic fibres creating biological dead zones in rivers near to factories.
One of the big problems with this type of production is that it’s also geared for cheap clothing. Clothing and accessories that are designed to be disposable - they last a ‘season’ before they’re out of style and, as they didn’t cost a lot, are then generally discarded. How many times have you, or someone you know said they can’t wear the same outfit again? In our current society, clothes and accessories are designed to be finite, used up and replaced.
We need to slow down. We need to stop and think about the negative impacts of speed. What is the impact on our community and also what our demand for speed and choice means for the environment and the world. The top you’re wearing didn’t just appear in the shop or the website you bought it from. Do you know how it was made? Do you know how much the people who laboured for it were paid? Do you know where the material came from or what it is actually made of? Was the farmer that grew the cotton paid a fair wage? Was the spinner? Was the weaver? Was the screen printer?
As you’re here at Elvis & Kresse, we would imagine you do. But if you’re not 100% sure then we would love you to ask. If everyone decided to ask these questions and shopped elsewhere if they weren’t comfortable with the answers then the fast fashion companies would have to change, they would have to slow down. Imagine the impact we could have if we were just more curious, and more demanding!
There’s a growing movement of slow fashion brands (not to boast, but we were born slow) who are bucking the trend of cheap, disposable clothes and mass production. Slow fashion manufacturers are just that, slow. They’re deliberate with the materials they use, whether that is organically grown cotton or rescued fire-hoses. They’re conscious of fair, living wages and the safety of their craftspeople. They’re diligent about the quality and longevity of their products. Slow fashion brands don’t create for this season, they create for life.
Being considered and caring about these things goes a long way to reducing the negative impacts of mass, seasonal production.
A slow fashion brand chooses to do the following things:
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other choices slow fashion brands can make and all centre around the question of what makes the world a better place - better environment, better society, better lives for everyone. We also choose to donate 50% of our profits, giving back to our stakeholder communities - many other slow fashion brands choose to undertake similar initiatives that benefit the world.
From the beginning we’ve been slow. We take time to design our products using a term we call backwards design. We start with the problem of waste, rescue the material in question and only then do we design products, and these products must do two things - suit that material with as little waste as possible and give them value and a new, long life.
We’ve developed this method over the years, first using decommissioned fire-hoses from the London Fire Brigade, then using Burberry leather off-cuts. Our backwards design process has allowed us to create a range of beautiful, luxury accessories that reinvigorate these materials that were otherwise headed to landfill.
We also produce in small batches - we don’t flood supply and then generate demand with big marketing campaigns. We produce small quantities, see what works and what there is a demand for, then we produce more only when we need to. We are open to feedback and encourage suggestions and critique from our amazing custodians. We test, optimise and improve constantly.
When we find another waste stream, we examine the material, we do an enormous amount of research to discover what might be the best possible second life for the material. Over the years we have pioneered solutions like this for more than 15 different waste materials; we regularly use around 10 different waste streams to produce our luxury, ethical bags, wallets, purses, accessories and homeware.
We take what most would call “waste” and we turn it into something beautiful and valuable. We do this at a slow pace that is sustainable and fair and suits demand. We do it methodically based on continued research and development. We also offer repairs - each Elvis & Kresse piece comes with a one year warranty, but outside of this time frame, we would rather repair a piece so it can continue its new life rather than be discarded.
There are a lot of fantastic brands now taking the slow fashion approach. Whether you’re looking for clothes or shoes - it’s always worth double checking who you’re buying from. A couple of really good reference points to check are the directories for our fellow Social Enterprises and B Corps. Both of these organisations are very strict on their membership so you can be safe in the knowledge that a certified Social Enterprise or B Corp (or ideally both, like us) will be putting their people, community and environment first. A few to look at include:
Unsure how decommissioned fire-hose, rescued leather and reclaimed parachute silk can be turned into something truly beautiful? Take a look at our collections here.
November 16, 2022
A sustainable handbag with more than one difference. The Small Post Bag, available in our Fire-Hose, Print Room and Fire & Hide collections, is a perfect everyday eco-friendly handbag. With plenty of space, internal pockets, a zip top and an included cross-body shoulder strap - this a stylish and versatile handbag for every day use - or that statement piece to compliment a night out.
The Small Post Bag (and the Large Post Bag) was inspired by a busy lifestyle. A need to have an ethical handbag durable enough to move from your everyday carry needs but also stylish enough to compliment a networking event, after-work drinks or a party.
Each Small Post Bag is handmade in a limited batch to ensure quality and each Elvis & Kresse piece is hand finished in rescued materials so variations in hose colour are to be celebrated!
The Small Post Bag measures 20cm in height, 26cm in width and has a depth of 14cm. The genuine fire-hose handles offer a 15cm drop - perfect for handheld use. We also include a shoulder strap that gives you the versatility to use this as an over-the-shoulder or a crossbody bag too!
It may be small, but it is mighty. This gorgeous piece is lined with rescued parachute silk (ripstop nylon) and includes an internal zip pocket to safely store your valuables.
It has plenty of space within for all your everyday essentials and the Fire-Hose & Print Room versions are designed to be water resistant, wipe clean and are vegan friendly. The Fire & Hide version will need a little more care, and we recommend protecting the leather if you are likely to be caught in the weather.
Kresse regularly carries her phone, purse, book, keys, loose change, business cards, rail card, and small refillable water bottle with a little space for more.
Each Elvis & Kresse piece is hand finished with a subtle laser etched logo and each edge is hand-painted. One of our most popular sustainable handbags, the Small Post Bag is available in a range of colour combinations across our core ranges. View the Fire-Hose & Print Room Collection here and the Fire & Hide Collection here.
As well as helping us reduce waste (and looking good whilst doing so), 50% of our profits from our Fire-Hose Collection are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity and 50% of our Fire & Hide Collection are donated to Barefoot College International. Find out more about these charities and our donations here.
Dimensions: 20 x 26 x 14cm
Handle Drop: 15cm
Exterior: Reclaimed Fire-Hose, Reclaimed Fire Hose and Printing Blanket, Reclaimed Fire-Hose & Recycled Leather
Interior: Rescued Parachute Silk
Volume of materials diverted from landfill:
Fire-Hose Small Post Bag
Parachute Silk: 0.319m²
Print Room Small Post Bag
Printing Blanket: 0.216m²
Parachute Silk: 0.319m²
Fire & Hide Small Post Bag
Rescued Leather: 0.116m²
Parachute Silk: 0.319m²
November 15, 2022
It’s the time of the year again where we are thrilled to announce our (and your) 2022 donation to The Fire Fighters Charity. Since 2005 we have donated 50% of the profit from our Fire-Hose collection to The Fire Fighters Charity. It is our greatest honour to support the work they do - and to give back to the people who used our decommissioned fire-hose in its first life.
The Fire Fighters Charity ensures that all members of the UK Fire Service have support across a whole range of areas from mental and physical health to social wellbeing and into their retirement. Their services are available to all Fire Service personnel and their families; due to the increase in fire service responsibilities during the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, their work needed now more than ever.
With your help, we have just donated £63,727.12. This money will go directly to helping The Fire Fighters Charity meet the needs of its beneficiaries.
To date we have donated £272,559.45 to the FFC, how does this translate into real impact?
With your help this amount covers the equivalent of 2600 physio sessions, 2000 psychology sessions, 1800 food boxes and more than a year of the Services Access Line.
We, and The Fire Fighters Charity, can’t thank you enough for your support and integral part in making this donation happen. 50% of profit from our Fire-Hose Collection is donated annually to the charity and we hope to keep increasing our total figure each year.
To find out more about how The Fire Fighters Charity helps people, please take a look at some real life stories on their website.
View the Fire-Hose Collection Here
November 10, 2022
The first product Elvis & Kresse ever made, the West End Belt is still one of our most timeless, popular pieces. Elvis & Kresse are still wearing their first belts most days almost 17 years later…
Made from genuine decommissioned fire-hose with a classic West End style buckle, these ethical belts are timeless, staple pieces for any sustainable wardrobe. Available in classic red fire-hose the West End Belt has been featured in Vogue being worn by Cameron Diaz. If that’s not confirmation enough, read on to find out more about the West End Belt.
At Elvis & Kresse the design process always starts with the material and zero-waste in mind. As you can imagine, due to its shape, malleability and durability rescued fire-hose lends itself incredibly well to being a belt.
All Elvis & Kresse belts are made to order in our workshop in Kent to ensure we don't end up with unpopular sizes getting dusty in a store room.
As one of our longest standing pieces, the West End Belt has gone through nearly 20 years of real-life testing and tweaking to make it the best looking, most durable sustainable belt possible. Available in 6 standard sizes from Extra Small to Extra Extra Large these ethical, and vegan, red belts will suit everyone (custom sizes are also available upon request, just get in touch with us here).
The timeless design can be paired with almost any outfit and the West End Buckle is available in either an Antique Brass or Silver finish to suit your style. Each belt comes with 6 robust eyelets and our sizes are measured to the third eyelet from the buckle - giving room to grow or shrink a little!
Water resistant and wipe-clean, this belt is for everyday use and will last for years, a true staple for a sustainable wardrobe.
As with all our pieces, our ethical belts are hand made and hand finished so some small variations occur. Each piece has hand painted edges, a subtle laser etched Elvis & Kresse logo and, as it’s made from rescued fire-hose, it’s also perfect for the vegan fashionista.
As well as helping us reduce waste (and looking good doing it!), 50% of the profits from our Fire-Hose Collection are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity and 50% of our Fire & Hide Collection are donated to the Barefoot College International. Find out more about these charities and our donations here.
Belt Width: 4cm
Belt Length: XS - 31”, S - 33”, M - 35”, L - 37”, XL - 39”, XXL - 41”
Material: Genuine decommissioned fire hose
Amount of materials given a new life:
Fire Hose: 0.05m2*
*Based on a Medium West End Belt