RecyclingKent-based Elvis & Kresse recycling used Trelleborg blankets
Kent-based company Elvis & Kresse has combined the compressible layer of used Trelleborg blankets from Reading-based BFS customers with decommissioned fire-hoses from the London Fire Brigade to produce high-end luxury goods such as briefcases, overnight bags, wallets and belts.
“Our managing director contacted a third party, a green specialist, to find out what we could do with our waste, and it put us in touch with Elvis & Kresse. Our partnership started a few years ago but the R&D went on for a long time because it’s a difficult material to work with and initially it wasn’t working so well” said bfs director Nicky Hope.
The first prototype had the canvas side of the blanket on the outside of the briefcase. But the canvas got dirty too easily and Elvis & Kresse went back to the drawing board deciding to strip the blanket apart to use the compressible layer on the outside of the briefcase instead.
“We deliver rollers to, and collect rollers from a number of customers anyway so while we’re there in one of our vans, we take their used blankets away too. There’s no additional fuel being used because our drivers are already there. And then we only go to Elvis & Kresse to deliver the used blankets when our driver is in the area or Elvis & Kresse come to us if they are heading along the M4.”
“We dispose of the blankets that are really shabby through another recycling programme which sees rubber waste converted into recycled materials for the agricultural industry or used to generate energy at recovery facilities.”
Integrity Print health, safety and environment manager Dave Gill said: “I constantly strive to find innovative solutions to all of our waste streams, so when an opportunity to recycle our old, used printing blankets was proposed by bfs, I fully embraced the idea.
“The final result is incredible and demonstrates that by working together it is possible to improve our environment through waste recycling and materials reuse at little or no cost.”
Elvis & Kresse co-founder and director James Henrit added: “We are so pleased that bfs got in touch and stuck with us over the last few years of trial and error. This is an incredibly tricky but stunning material and it was a real joy to launch it in our range.”
A significant proportion of the profits generated from the revenue of the upcycled goods, which can be purchased directly from Elvis & Kresse or from stockists in several countries worldwide, are donated to charity.
Hope said: “Elvis & Kresse kindly gave us one of their first finished laptop bags; it’s beautiful and the attention to detail is simply stunning. We love being part of this and hope that more of our customers will get involved in our blanket take back scheme.”
Visit Elvis and Kresse – www.elvisandkresse.com/