Once they have fulfilled their duty for some twenty-five years, fire hoses are, sadly, destined to be decommissioned and shipped off to the dump. Eco-conscious types needn't be overly concerned though, as several established and emerging brands are coming to the rescue by recycling the otherwise redundant fire hoses into rather eye-catching fashion accessories. DEPARTURES compiles the best of the bunch that are making a splash in the style stakes, with pieces guaranteed to – figuratively, not literally – relight your fashion-loving fire.
Elvis & Kresse's Messenger Bag
Certainly one of the first to spark this anti-scrapheap fire hose trend, Elvis & Kresse's pieces are nothing short of impressive. The UK brand recycles British fire brigade hoses into an array of high-quality, handmade accessories.
The hose serves as the perfect material for producing a sturdy messenger bag that can endure even the most demanding of daily activities: it is naturally strong, durable, water resistant and wipe-clean. The innate distressed look – a welcome benefit from working with something pre-used – further catapults the bag into the realms of cool.
Even the lining of the bag keeps it eco, comprising reclaimed military-grade parachute silk. Perhaps the best part of purchasing this bag is that there is a social as well as an environmental benefit – Elvis and Kresse donate 50% of their profits to the Fire Fighters Charity.
See more on the Elvis & Kresse webpages
Feuerwear's Lightline collection
If red isn't really your colour, then German fire hose brand Feuerwear has the answer. Although for many years Germany has exclusively used red and white hoses, in recent years they have shifted to using hues that are universal indicators of safety. This yellow is deemed a more sensible option for fire teams, as it is easier to see amidst smoke.
Naturally, the aim of fire fighting fashion is not to obtain the hoses before they have completed their duty therefore, as the neon yellow colours are relatively new, there are a limited number that are available for reuse. However, this lends itself perfectly to the creation of a limited edition line, which is exactly what Feuerwear has done with their Lightline collection.
Once a year the brand crafts their limited supply into a rather striking selection of accessories – only available exclusively online – ranging from rather funky looking wallets and phone and tablet cases, to totes and messengers. Feuerwear keeps its processes eco too – offsetting their carbon footprint created by shipping, and keeping production within Europe and European wage and working condition standards.
The latest Lightline collection is available today.
Recycled Firefighter's toiletry and tool bags
Recycled Firefighter's name leaves no mystery to the nature of their products, but the surprise is who's behind the brand. Full time firefighter Jacob Starr creates fashionable fire-hose wash bags, wallets and tool rolls during his spare time – a side business to his life-saving career.
Each piece is handmade by Starr himself, using fire hoses decommissioned within his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Dedicated to making the bags durable – which they already mostly are thanks to the employment of the robust hose material – Starr triple sews the seams and melts any exposed fabric edges to leave no vulnerable bag element unturned.
Aside from the rather stylish Recycled Firefighter stencilled logo, there is also the option to personalise the bags with your own name. Although all of the products have their own unique charm, the reflective stripe toiletry bags are particularly striking.
Visit the Recycled Firefighter webpages