Guest - Elvis & Kresse


Topics of the interview

00:00 Presentation

00:15 What’s the reason behind your business?

01:09 What are your vision and mission?

03:07 Why have you decided to become a B Corp and this choice is helping you to achieve your purpose?

05:05 What do you think is the biggest challenge as a B Corp?

07:11 How can you manage to be a fashion luxury brands and, at the same time, a farmer?

11:17 How do you reduce the waste throughout the supply chain?

13:59 What is your biggest achievement?

15:04 Do you think being b corp has supported you in a road map or measuring your impact to improving it?

18:54 In your opinion, why a fashion company should become B Corp?

20:32 Share with us three good practices

21:25 Tell us three things you have learned to avoid

22:56 What changes would you like to see in fashion in the next year?

Elvis & Kresse: “Why produce waste every season, when we can use what already exists and transform it into something new, which people can appreciate?”

What means being at both opposite ends of the fashion supply chain, as a brand and a farmer at the same time? And why it is essential?

We’ve discussed about with Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, a brand that since 2005 has been rescuing raw materials, transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories and donating 50% of profits back to charities.

In 2017 the Burberry Foundation partnered with Elvis & Kresse to tackle the even greater global problem of leather waste.

This Five-year partnership will see at least 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts from Burberry transformed into new luxury items, designed and sold by Elvis & Kresse.

Founding Elvis & Kresse: A Mission to Rescue and Transform

Elvis & Kresse started with a simple yet profound goal: to prevent London’s decommissioned fire hoses from ending up in landfills. The company embarked on extensive research to understand the material properties of these hoses and eventually decided to repurpose them into high-quality luxury goods. This initiative marked the beginning of their journey in sustainable fashion.

Expanding the Mission: Beyond Adding Value to Waste

While initially focused on rescuing fire hoses, Elvis & Kresse’s mission has significantly expanded over the years. The company now rescues 15 different materials and is dedicated to changing the luxury industry and capitalism itself. They question why the luxury industry has historically failed to respect people and the planet and challenge traditional business models that are extractive and exploitative. Their goal is not just to add value to waste materials but to be net regenerative, having a positive impact on the world.

The B Corp Movement and Elvis & Kresse

Elvis & Kresse was one of the founding B Corps in the UK. The B Corp certification aligns with their mission to transform business practices and make a positive impact. The company’s simple and communicable business model – rescue, transform, donate – has helped promote the B Corp mission. They see the B Corp movement as aspirational for businesses, encouraging a shift towards more sustainable and impactful practices.

Addressing Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

Elvis & Kresse view climate change and biodiversity loss as the primary challenges facing businesses today. In response, they have relocated their business to a farm and launched a regenerative agriculture project, planting 3,000 trees and working towards carbon sequestration and biodiversity enhancement. This move signifies their commitment to addressing environmental issues at a fundamental level.

The Interplay of Fashion and Agriculture

The company sees a direct connection between fashion and agriculture, emphasizing the importance of understanding raw material sources and their impact on the environment. By engaging in regenerative agriculture, they believe they can better address systemic issues in the fashion industry.

Challenges and Opportunities for Fashion Companies

Kresse Wesling advises fashion companies to embrace the challenges of transforming their business models. She encourages them to engage their creative teams in solving supply chain problems, material issues, and developing repair and take-back schemes. This approach, she believes, can lead to joyful and meaningful work that resonates with the younger workforce.

Best Practices and Avoiding Pitfalls

Elvis & Kresse emphasize the importance of understanding one’s business impact, both positive and negative. They advise against working with customers who are unethical or exploitative and stress the importance of bringing in skilled individuals to complement the team. Additionally, they highlight the necessity for every business to actively engage in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.

Vision for the Future of Fashion

Looking ahead, Kresse Wesling hopes to see a significant shift in the fashion industry. She calls for companies that are overproducing and not genuinely committed to sustainability to step aside, making room for innovative businesses that prioritize net regenerative practices. Her vision is for a fashion industry that produces less, focuses on longevity, and ensures that products can be composted or reused at the end of their life cycle.

In conclusion, Elvis & Kresse’s journey is a powerful example of how luxury fashion can be reimagined through sustainable practices. By transforming waste into high-quality products and committing to a broader mission of environmental and social responsibility, they are setting a new standard for the fashion industry.

What is B Corp B Fashion?

B Corp B Fashion aims to put together in one place all fashion b-corps and fashion brands want to become it. We want to promote regenerative and sustainable fashion, sharing the best practices from consolidated realities, newcomers, and curious people from the fashion world who want to know the B Corp world and its business way.

To watch the complete interview, click on the video.

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