These remarkable eco-friendly bags and belts made from reclaimed Fire hoses have become hot property with fashion conscious celebs.
Designers at Elvis and Kresse use decommissioned fire hose which have been tackling blazes for up to 25 years and would otherwise have been sent to landfill.
But with skilled craftmanship, Elvis & Kresse salvage the durable material to make unique pieces weathered and marked by a long life fighting fires.
The range has proved a smash hit with celebrities including Cameron Diaz and former first lady Sarah Brown wearing the recycled belts.
So far the company have reclaimed 45 tonnes of red and yellow fire hose and sold thousands of bags and belts ranging in price from £25 to £210.
Hoses are scrubbed clean before being fashioned into accessories and bags and wallets are lined with parachute silk and office furniture textiles.
Packaging for the articles is made using waste parachute silk or old tea sacks and the string on swing tags is made from old coffee sacks.
Each 70ft (22m) long hose can make up to five large bags and many more smaller items including belts, wallets and iPhone covers.
The company incorporate the ridges and grooves of the old hose into their bags which were developed after Kresse Wesling attended an Environmental Management System course.
Kresse Wesling and James ”Elvis” Henrit, both 33, where inspired to set up the company after meeting firefighters from the London Fire Brigade who were trying to find a way to recycle their old hose,
Kresse said: ”Firefighters had no way to recycle their old hose by traditional means so i went to have a look at the material.
”I instantly fell in love with the material and I knew I couldn’t see it go to landfill so I decided to do something about it.
”We started making belts but it took around two years and a lot of creative thinking to develop the bags.
”It’s an incredibly long process to turn the hose into a bag or belt involving cleaning, edging and polishing to get the finished product – but it’s worth it.”
Elvis & Kresse, established in 2007, work according to ISO 14000 standards to constantly monitor and improve their processes.
Firefighter Paul Turner, of Suffolk Fire and Rescue, said that the service were pleased to find a use for their decommissioned hose.
He said: ”Suffolk Fire and Rescue has collected about one tonne of hose for delivery to Elvis and Kresse and hopes to continue collecting all the condemned hose in the future.”
Half of the company’s profits go to The Firefighters Charity to support the families of serving and retired fire service personnel.