Some might be hard-pressed to see how old hose could be beautiful, but this is exactly what makes Kresse’s passion extraordinary: her vision. ‘When you polish it and see the lustrous red rubber it becomes this fantastic material!’ Kresse and her future business partner, Elvis, set about figuring out what they could make from it. ‘If a use couldn’t be found for the hose, most of it would go to landfill, which to me is simply uncivilised. Waste is a mix of inherently valuable materials. It’s shameful to shove it in the earth.’
A lengthy process of trial and error ensued, as they made the hose into roof tiles, furniture, Christmas ornaments… and finally belts. ‘Elvis’s leather belt split so we cut off a bit of hose, added his buckle, and hey presto!’ It wasn’t quite as easy as that, of course. More work was required to find machines sturdy enough to cut, rivet and sew the rubber, which is as tough as nails, let alone to clean the sooty grime off it. ‘We’re on uncharted territory so we have to innovate!’ Kresse enthuses.