Our virtual exhibit for San Francisco Design Week, “Bay Area Made: Making a Sustainable Future” features 39 of our member companies sharing the sustainable practices they are implementing in their products and business operations. Oxgut Hose Co. makes bags, totes, and mats from salvaged fire hose. In the excerpt below from the exhibit, they share what drives them: to keep this amazing material out of landfills, incorporate it into authentic product design, and give back to their community. To view the full exhibit on the San Francisco Design Week website, click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Our upcycled fire hose products are made from genuine retired fire hose salvaged from fire departments all over the United States. Each piece is handcrafted and honors the inherent history in each rare find. What drives us is threefold: keep this amazing material out of landfills, incorporate it into authentic product design, and give back to our community. We are based locally in the Bay Area on Mare Island.
Materials & Ingredients
Primarily we use retired fire hose salvaged from fire departments all over the United States. We incorporate as much of the hose as possible into our designs, and are constantly looking for ways to fully eliminate excess material. We do not manipulate or change the unique coloring of the hose in any way, but instead enhance the material through a deep soak – using an all natural cleaning agent – and pressure washing each hose by hand. Any additional finishes such as webbing, binding, D rings, hooks, clasps and zippers have been carefully selected and produced by local distributors who appreciate sustainable practices.
“Each product has been carefully designed and created with quality and functionality in mind. The material itself has proven to withstand the test of time – imagine what it has already been through!”
Packaging & Delivery
In an effort to reduce waste, we use as little shipping materials as possible while still placing an emphasis on quality and design. Products are placed in a recyclable box appropriate to the size of the item and we limit any additional wrapping, tissue paper, etc. to a few certain, necessary items. Customers are allowed to choose shipping options of their choice, based on their desired delivery time frame, and we ship nationwide via FedEx.
Quality & Value
Each product has been carefully designed and created with quality and functionality in mind. The material itself has proven to withstand the test of time – imagine what it has already been through! Keeping the decommissioned hose out of landfills or set aside in storage, never to be used again, has become a driving force behind every piece we create. We work with local artisans to craft timeless and purposeful products to honor the history in each rare find.
All specifications of our products are confirmed prior to the cutting of any hose so that we cut the hose to size, limiting excess material. If there are excess hose we use these pieces to create handles, straps, and smaller products like our zippered pouch.
In addition, every piece of the hose is used. The exterior jacket, the interior hose, and the couplings all serve a purpose.
Local Supply Chains
All of our products are created and made by the hands of local providers within a one-hour radius of our shop. The hose is collected, washed, cut and stored at our shop on Mare Island. Local artisans and seamstresses sew each product to completion, and any hardware or accessories are purchased from a local small business in Tracy, CA.
In order to utilize energy efficiently we do our processes in bundles, and rarely individually. Meaning, multiple bundles of hose are cleaned at the same time, cut at the same time, and processed (sewn) at the same time. This way we limit excess use of electricity and water and find we are more purposeful with our time and resources.
Goals & Aspirations
We believe that rescuing materials and making donations (Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation) is not enough. We have to run on renewable energy, we have to be a living wage employer, we have to ensure that there are no exploitation or environmental degradation caused by any of our activities. These are our current and continued goals as we ask ourselves every day, “is this the best we can do?”
Certifications & Memberships
We are working towards becoming a certified B Corporation.
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