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Burberry Launches Partnership to Upcycle Leather Scraps

Burberry is making moves towards a more sustainable leather supply chain. The luxury brand announced a five-year partnership with Elvis & Kresse, a company that creates accessories out of waste material, to make use of Burberry’s leather waste and transform the material into accessories and houseware.

With the leather industry looking towards a more sustainable future through a number of innovations, brands and retailers are taking notice. Now, Elvis & Kresse received a grant from the Burberry Foundation to help facilitate the company’s efforts towards a more sustainable leather supply chain.

According to Elvis & Kresse, around 800,000 tons of leather waste is made by the global leather industry.  The company aims to take the leftover, high-quality, unused tanned and dyed leather and create new, high-end accessories, using at least 120 tons of leather waste from Burberry. Half of the profits from the range of accessories and homeware designed and sold by Elvis & Kresse.

“We are delighted to be supporting the work of Elvis & Kresse and providing them with the leather off cuts to create truly innovative products,” said Christopher Bailey, a trustee of The Burberry Foundation and president and CCO of Burberry Group. “Leather is a precious material, yet many of the off cuts generated by the design process are seen as worthless. We believe that this can change, and we are proud to lead the way in showing how creativity and craftsmanship can play a part in solving this issue.”

Elvis & Kresse created a process that gives the unused leather pieces new life by weaving the fragments into a type of hide that is unrestricted by sizing or shape constraints.

“Elvis & Kresse was founded to rescue London’s fire hose. When we decided to tackle the much, much larger leather problem, we knew we would need a brave partner,” said Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse. “We are grateful for the support of the Burberry Foundation and are truly excited to scale this solution, and magnify its impact. This is the kind of work we are made for and this is the kind of partnership that will change the future of luxury.”

Along with creating something new out of unused scraps, Elvis & Kresse plans to create work experience opportunities with the help of public events, competitions and workshops.