Where can I buy REFIRE recycled products?
REFIRE product can be purchased directly from our website. We also now have product featured at the Firefighters Museum in Calgary, 4144 11th Street SE in Calgary, AB http://www.calgaryfiremuseum.com/ and the Local General Store, Haultain Corners, 1440 Haultain Street in Victoria, BC www.thelocalgeneralstore.ca.
If you live in the Vancouver area call 778.838.2468 to arrange for a pick-up directly from our studio to avoid shipping charges. You can also visit our Blog for current craft market announcements - and come out to see REFIRE product in person - we would love to meet you!
Why did you start REFIRE?
Kelvin is an active firefighter and is passionate about everything related to firefighting. Extending the life of firefighting hose and gear is his way of telling a firefighter's story to the world. The inherent characteristic of fire fighting material is durability. Developing new uses for material that has formed pin holes or reached its projected service life extends its use by another generation. A little imagination goes a long way to reusing material that has much more to give.
Why do you support the British Columbia Professional Firefighter’s Burn Fund?
The BCPFBF is an amazing organization. Supporting people who have survived a fire event is the most emotional aspect of REFIRE. Kelvin has responded to so many fire calls in his years of service - we appreciate each and every purchase, and the associated contribution made, to improving the lives of fire victims, young and old.
How do you make your products?
Our process begins with careful disassembly. Stitching is removed from gear by hand and patterns cut from the deconstructed material. Sewing is done with a Sailrite industrial machine to ensure consistency and durability of stitching. Fire hose is cut by hand with an exacto knife and assembled by hand with rivets and snaps to a number of lengths and widths. Assembly of product is very time consuming - but results in a unique - hand made product.
What are your products made from?
Our belts are made from recycled fire hose - comprised of nitrile rubber with polyester yarn woven in. Our bags are made from recycled fire turn-out gear - made from flame resistant meta-aramid material (Nomex trade name).
Is your material clean?
We launder all of our material before we assemble product. All of our hose and turn-out gear has had years of fire fighting exposure. It is impossible for us to know the complete history of every piece of material, but during its lifespan, it is exposed to flame, smoke, soot and weather. It is standard practice for fire departments to wash hose and turn-out gear after every fire event.
Many fire departments donate material to third world countries - are you diverting material from the less fortunate?
We fully support the sharing of gear with less fortunate communities. Many fire departments do not share gear that has reached the end of its useful life - for liability reasons. The material that REFIRE sources is only material that is destined for the landfill or material that is for sale on the reuse market.