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Spotlight on the maker: Elvis & Kresse

Image credit: Elvis & Kresse.

Since 2005, Elvis & Kresse have been handcrafting exquisite, luxury homeware and gifting pieces from reclaimed materials such as leather offcuts from the luxury fashion industry and decommissioned firehose from the London Fire Brigade in their workshop in Kent. From reclaimed black leather footstools to recycled firehose pencil cases, Elvis & Kresse are championing reclaimed luxury. Co-owner, Kresse Wesling, kindly talked to AUTHOR about the company and its environmentally friendly work.

Where did your passion come from for making your pieces?

I am not sure our passion is for making… our passion really is for solving problems and that has taken us down this road. When we first discovered the firehose we didn’t intend to start a company around it, originally I thought I would be able to make a few phone calls and find industrial reuse for it. When this tactic failed our R&D began.

Reclaimed Leather Cube

Were you always interested in creating things from childhood?

We were certainly both very fond of nature, but making came to us in our mid-20s.

How did your business start? What led you into it?

I fell in love with Duraline hoses the moment I saw them, in 2005, piled up on a rooftop at a fire station in Croydon, awaiting an imminent and undignified death in landfill.

Firehoses are decommissioned for one of two reasons, they either reach the 25-year end of their health and safety life or they are too damaged to repair. They either miraculously survive 25 years of active service, or they die trying.

We weren’t entrepreneurs in search of an idea, we didn’t set out to make luxury accessories. We simply wanted to save the hose. We couldn’t let these rich, durable, life-saving, lustrous coils of deep red nitrile rubber go.

Elvis learned to sew. We started with a simple range of belts and grew slowly from there. We have rescued all of London’s decommissioned hoses since 2005, and have donated 50% of the profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. So these hoses are still working hard, long after their first life. Imagine that, hoses that were supposed to die in landfill have now donated more than £200,000 to the Fire Fighters Charity.
Notebooks and pencil cases made from decommissioned firehose

Amazing work. Where do you draw your inspiration from for your pieces?

We are first and foremost inspired by the materials we rescue. When we find something we think we can save we do a lot of research around the materials involved, why they are now considered ‘waste’, the volumes, the location, the condition. This research always leads us to the design.

What is your favourite part of the making process?

For me, the best part is finding a new material that I know we can save, for Elvis the best part is long after the prototypes have been complete and we have found an audience. I optimistically think we can save everything, Elvis waits for customer validation, he waits for proof.

Reclaimed leather rugs being made
Image credit: Elvis & Kresse

Where do you source the materials to make your pieces?

We have a wide variety of stakeholders, like the London Fire Brigade and Burberry. We collect our materials directly from these partners. In the case of the hoses we now collect from all over the UK.

That’s brilliant. What do you love about working in the UK and any thoughts on British design?

We love that in the UK there are materials experts in almost any material that you can think of. We have so many incredible institutions, scientists, and researchers. Without this brains trust, and its willingness to share and collaborate, it would have taken much more time to innovate.

Desk Tidy made from decommissioned firehose

Do you have any particular design heroes or other makers your work has been influenced by?

Buckminster Fuller was incredible, he had such incredible intention. I am also a big fan of Ehab Sayed and his company, Biohm.

Any upcoming projects/ pieces you’re working on that you’d like to tell us about?

We have recently moved to a farm in order to pursue a regenerative agriculture project. There are so many thrilling elements to this like our constructed wetland for treating our waste water, the straw bale workshop we are about to start building, the holistic planned grazing that we are working on with our sheep and the vines we will plant next spring. The farm is the key to our future plans around regenerative design and our commitment to net zero.

Reclaimed Leather Rug

That sounds fantastic! Can’t wait to see it all in future. Any final words about joining the AUTHOR fold?

We are thrilled to be working with AUTHOR. Our interiors collection started small but there is so much potential. We can’t wait to see how this relationship develops.


Reclaimed Leather Cube
Reclaimed Leather Rug
Firehose Pencil Case
Firehose Desk Tidy
Reclaimed Firehose Notebook
Reclaimed Firehose Notebook

About the Author


Written by Jane Adams, founder of Author Interiors. LinkedIn:

Read more about her here.

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