Company Turns Retired Fire Hoses into Mats, Furniture, Accessories

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Oxgut now makes a variety of furniture items, including lounge chairs, stools and hammocks. Photo: Sean Dagen, Oakland, CA / DagenPhoto.com

Oxgut now makes a variety of furniture items, including lounge chairs, stools and hammocks. Photo: Sean Dagen, Oakland, Calif./DagenPhoto.com

Turning Hoses into New Products

Working with salvaged materials always poses unique challenges. Fire hoses, like other reclaimed goods, are not uniform the way virgin materials are. While each fire station has some standard types of hoses, each one has its own nuances. The hoses have different weaves and colors and need to be cleaned by machines before they can be reused.

Oxgut is also committed to producing all of its products in the United States, which requires some extra effort.

“What we’ve found is that reaching out and finding local sewers and stitchers and resources, not only to work in small quantities for us but also to work with the material, is very challenging,” Wunsch says.

All of Oxgut’s products are made by hand, which takes time. It also ensures that each piece is unique.

Fire hoses have unique colors and stenciling. Photo: Sean Dagen, Oakland, CA / DagenPhoto.com

Fire hoses have unique colors and stenciling. Photo: Sean Dagen, Oakland, Calif./DagenPhoto.com

Currently, Oxgut makes mats, furniture, hammocks and wine carriers, among other products, but the company’s designers are always thinking of new ways to use the fire hoses. The hoses are durable and arrive at Oxgut in variety of colors, and according to Wunsch, the products Oxgut makes are inspired by the material.

“As with any product development, it’s a matter of looking at what’s going to work with our brand and within our particular line. We want to create things that can live together,” Wunsch says. “That said, we’re working with a medium that’s relatively untapped, so we’re experimenting. We’re seeing what really resonates with our customers.”

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