As the adage quips, one man’s rubbish may be another man’s treasure, for Burberry and Elvis & Kresse, this statement rings true as they embark on a five-year partnership recycling leather waste from Burberry factories.
Fashion and sustainability are a neoteric duo, embracing fast fashion and luxury brands as an ethically minded consciousness that questions our wardrobe selection. In these conscientious times, wearing fur is indeed outdated and it’s finally possible to banish the need for real fur styles. As the Business of Fashion story shared last month, Gucci Bans fur: ‘It’s Not Modern’ creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele is now my spirit #furfree animal in more ways than one.
Joining the ranks of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci will stop designing fur after the Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Eliminating the manufacturing of animal fur products is one fight underway by major designer-labels, but the use of leather will always prove harder to conquer unless of course, you’re Stella McCartney! But positive steps in the right direction, recycling leather certainly warrants kudos from me.
Founded in 2005 by Canadian-born Kresse Wesling and Brit James Henrit (nickname Elvis), Elvis & Kresse rescue and reuse raw materials to manufacture luxury lifestyle products. Inspired by a visit to the London Fire Brigade, and with a recycling business in mind, Kresse and James, partners in both work and life were influenced by the durable qualities of rubber hoses.
To wit, the entrepreneurial duo decided to salvage these discarded life-saving fire hoses from landfills, and together with utilizing reclaimed leather they recycle and re-engineer waste materials creating a collection of bags, accessories and home goods. Not satisfied with merely recycling, and combining sustainable style with ethical manufacturing, these philanthropic entrepreneurs also donate 50% of profits to charities. Truly a cutting edge company (pun intended), Elvis & Kresse has a heart and a soul, challenging the growing sustainability issues of a fickle fashion industry, while incorporating innovative craftsmanship, by employing the skills of craftsman and training apprentices.
With concerns about the waste of leather offcuts, The Burberry Foundation, a charitable grant-giving entity at the Burberry Group, recently announced that it will partner with Elvis & Kresse and provide 120 tons of scrap leather from Burberry manufacturing. The collaboration of recycled leather will create a range of accessories and homewares that will be sold by Elvis & Kresse—who will also receive mentorship from Burberry. With philanthropy always in mind, 50% of the profits will be donated to charitable organizations that support renewable energy.