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Elvis & Kresse

30th July 2020

Elvis & Kresse rescue materials that would otherwise go to landfill to make sustainable, luxury lifestyle accessories whilst donating 50% of their profits to charity.

Based in Tonge, near Sittingbourne, the business is designed to solve environmental problems, making all products onsite, which are built to last, and repairing them to ensure minimal waste. The packaging is made from waste products contributing to Elvis & Kresse being a 100% plastic free brand. The business began with a negative carbon footprint, which it still maintains by running on renewable energy and has saved over 250 tonnes of waste from going to landfill.

In 2013, Elvis & Kresse bought a rundown grade II listed building, Tonge Mill, and used waste materials to bring it back to life. The company has attracted people globally to see how they manage to be a successful, sustainable brand in the area. In 2017, Burberry partnered with Elvis & Kresse to see Burberry leather off-cuts be recrafted into Elvis & Kresse luxury products, preventing at least 120 tonnes of leather from ending up in landfill.

Elvis & Kresse have also started an apprenticeship programme, which has accommodated more than 30 participants, creating green jobs in the Thames Estuary and are currently involved in a R&D project with Queen Mary University aiming to make a solar powered micro forge. This will be pioneering in the circular economy movement; carbon emissions from forging will be diminished and the technology will be available to everyone. Elvis & Kresse are a certified B corporation meaning they are legally required to consider the impact of business decisions on workers, supply chains, the environment, and their community. A newsletter is published yearly to stakeholders and community members highlighting their environmental achievements.

The business exists between the waste management and luxury fashion sectors. Elvis & Kresse can collect 100kg of waste leather to create £100,000 worth of products; they add significant value to waste products whilst preventing massive contributions to landfill. The luxury fashion sector has failed to protect the environment yet Elvis & Kresse prove that sustainable fashion is possible and profitable. Kresse from Elvis & Kresse said “We can only have green growth because the biggest issue with growth has been at the expense of the planet and its people. Capitalism is a story of exploitation and degradation so green growth should be the minimum standard for setting up a business.”

Kate Willard, Estuary Envoy, comments: “Stylish, sustainable and socially conscious – Elvis & Kresse are a truly innovative brand pushing the boundaries of the luxury fashion market. Their apprenticeship program and dedication to creating green jobs in the area will help to foster young talent and bolster industry. We look forward to helping them go from strength to strength.”

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