What makes Kresse Wesling a Global Shaker?
Kresse Wesling MBE is a Canadian-born, Kent-based, multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur and Young Global Leader with a background in venture capital and significant start-up experience.
Kresse founded her first business, an environmental packaging alternatives company, in Hong Kong in 2002. By 2004 she launched this business in the UK and has since helped to build two other sustainable businesses; Babaloo, a mother and baby business and Yew Clothing, a line of eco-sports and casual wear.
Then in 2005, Kresse and her partner James Henrit (Elvis) had a chance encounter with the London Fire Brigade where they learned that all of London’s damaged and decommissioned fire hoses were destined for landfill.
Seeing the potential in the pillar box red heavy-duty material that the hoses were made from, the duo cut a deal with London Fire Brigade and set up Elvis & Kresse and started turning London’s fire hoses into luxury handbags. To give back they pledged to donate 50% of all profits from the Fire-hose Collection to The Fire Fighters Charity.
“This heroic material, once used to save lives, gets a second chance to keep giving back.”
For over a decade, none of London’s fire-hose has gone to landfill and over 175 tons of material has been reclaimed and counting.
The Fire-hose collection consists of a range of beautifully made handbags and accessories cut from the re-engineered raw form of the red hoses. Designs also come in rare yellow for a slightly higher price as yellow fire-hoses are few and far between. For the bag linings, they use reclaimed parachute silk and all product packaging is made from recycled materials.
As they expanded, Elvis & Kresse started to create products from reclaimed leather and had agreements with numerous manufacturers to save their leather cut-offs.
Then in 2017, they partnered with the Burberry Foundation to tackle the great global problem of leather waste.
According to their website, this Five-year partnership will see “at least 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts from Burberry recrafted into new luxury items, designed and sold by Elvis & Kresse.”
Kresse has also served as a Social Enterprise Ambassador for the UK Government and as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.Tags: Circular Economy, sustainable fashion