Making bags: Elvis & Kresse | V&A

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Bag making is a complex process. From creative sketches and precise technical drawings, to prototypes and catwalk shows, every stage requires careful thought.

Historically and globally, bags have been constructed and embellished in an enormous variety of ways. Originally hand-stitched at home or crafted in small workshops, today’s mass-produced bags are assembled in factories. Each procedure requires special skills, from pattern-making, cutting and dyeing, to sewing, polishing and finishing.

Elvis & Kresse have taken a stand against the impact that the luxury fashion industry has on the environment. They began by rescuing London’s decommissioned nitrile rubber fire hoses and reusing it to create a “guilt-free It bag”. They also give fifty percent of their profits to charity. The design for their bags begins with an assessment of the waste hose material which will determine the shape, function and durability of the end piece but the process of making the bag itself follows the same exacting methods of traditional, hand-crafted manufacture.

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