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Oxgut Creatively Repurposes Fire Hoses into Modern Furniture
By: Cindy Wendland
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We’ve never considered ourselves wasteful...until someone came into our family who makes conserving an art form. We now look at what we use and what we throw away differently and have developed a deeper respect for others who conserve. People who are focused on making the Earth a better place for our children and/or who like unique furniture and accessories will really like what’s happening at Oxgut Hose Co.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle are three good words to consider regarding waste. California-based Oxgut adds a fourth with "repurpose." Oxgut takes fire hoses that fire departments will be throwing out and repurposes them into “exclusive designs with a heroic past.” They put the decommissioned fire hoses into the hands of local designers and artisans and make and sell furniture, weekend bags, slippers, iPad cases, and basically anything else they can create.

Speaking with Laurale Wunsch, a native from the Midwest, deepened our appreciation for their creations and their purpose. It also raised more questions. Laurale explained that they want to keep these hoses out of landfills since they are built to be indestructible and decompose slowly. If that is the case, then why are the hoses decommissioned? She explained that it can occur for several reasons. The fire hoses may have a flaw that can come up during testing where the liner on the hose might come away from the exterior. Every fire hose has a mandatory end of life at 10 years, although sometimes it is just a matter of changing equipment. Whatever the reason, the fire hose can no longer be used and Oxgut is turning them into works of art and function.

We thought we had found a company that made cool things (nice marketing) and had a solid mission to help the environment (nice branding). We also found a caring company that focuses on giving back to the community and contributes to fire departments and The Children’s Burn Foundation.

Since fire hoses can be heavy to ship, they are focusing on California fire departments currently. In the future, other fire departments may be able to get their decommissioned hoses to Oxgut for repurposing. Creative minds are working on that solution, so tell your fire department friends about Oxgut and browse through their catalog. Good products for a good cause.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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