Meet Elvis & Kresse. They’re two of the most remarkable and lovely people we know. They reclaim “heroic” materials that are destined for landfill and create beautiful, useful things out of them. See below for the recent Q&A with them.
1. How did you and Elvis meet (just being nosy)?
We met on a boat in Hong Kong. He was dressed as Superman and introduced to me as Elvis - I didn't have any other choice after that!
2. What came first for you: a passion for design/business or for sustainability?
For us the material, the problem, always comes first. We find things that have no other hope, they are destined for landfill; everything we do after that is geared towards rescuing that material and solving that problem.
3. What was the eureka moment for Elvis & Kresse?
We first discovered the hose in 2005 and instantly knew it was too beautiful, too durable and too heroic to die in landfill.
4. Which are the designers and businesses out there you are most excited by and why?
We love Tesla's new Powerwall system - we are obsessed with renewable energy and going off grid.
5. Is there a paradox in the term “sustainable luxury”?
No - there is however a deeply disturbing paradox in unsustainable luxury
6. If you had a motto, what would it be?
Do more, Be Better - can anyone out there do a latin translation for us?
7. What was your best meal ever?
It was last Friday night and pretty much every Friday since we met - pizza, red wine, ice cream...
8. What’s your most treasured possession?
Our home, which is also our workshop, Tonge Mill. Even if it wasn't this home, it would be our last home or next home.
9. Who would be at your last supper and what would be on the menu?
Elvis, family, friends, Monty (our dog) and it would be the usual Friday night menu!
10. What’s the best and worst thing about working with your partner?
The best thing is that you get to work with someone you specifically chose because they are the coolest, funniest, smartest, and generally the best person in the world ... the worst is that when one of you has a bad day (month, year etc.), so does the other one.
We've got an Elvis & KresseTote bag to give away, worth £184. It’s a classic design lined with reclaimed parachute silk and it smells absolutely amazing (a sweet, chocolaty, caramel scent like a posh candle).
Elvis & Kresse got started by making belts and bags out of London Fire Brigade de-commissioned firehose. Their fire-hose products have been worn by the likes of Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow and featured in the pages of Vogue. They’ve rescued more than 200 tonnes of hose so far.
Their latest bit of ingenious reclamation is using castoff leather from British luxury goods companies that usually gets sent to landfill. They’ve designed an interlocking, geometric system of leather pieces that can be made into virtually any shape (think 2-D Lego).
They made us our very own COOK rug that we had to put together as a team-building exercise at a recent leadership day. Two other things make us like Elvis & Kresse a lot more than is reasonable. One is the fact they live in a beautiful watermill just a mile away from the COOK Kitchen in Kent. They’ve completely renovated it into an amazing live/work space, using reclaimed materials. The other is the fact that they’re joining us as one of the UK’s first certified B Corporations, committed to be using business as a force for good.