Hose & Britches: Hot Upcycled Firehose Fashions

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Firehoses don’t do the environment any favors when their working lives are through, so upcycling used firehoses into hot fashion pieces is a very cool idea.

Modern firehoses are at the leading edge of an evolutionary process that has always pushed the envelope of strength and durability. Originally made from woven leather, today’s firehoses are engineering marvels consisting of various natural and synthetic fabrics and elastomers (chiefly rubber). They’re supremely strong and eminently durable: exactly what’s required when lives hang in the balance every time they’re used.

You’re Fired!

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The downside, of course, is that firehoses’ remarkable durability can’t be turned off like the flow of water from a fire hydrant. In a nutshell, “retired” firehoses are very difficult to recycle. Enter Alex Chalkley, a young entrepreneur from Knysna, South Africa. Chalkley attacked the problem posed by disused firehoses from a different direction: instead of trying to recycle them, he’s upcycling them instead.

The Hosed With The Most

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“I started with the idea of making products out of firehoses in late November of 2014,” explains Chalkley, founder of True Knysna, “and it was just going to be a laptop cover for myself. The finished product was so well-received that I decided to expand my range to where we are today.”