Derived from the word ‘vibes’ and originally inspired by the people and places of South Africa, vaabs spans globally, curating a culture that brings people together. The vaabs vision started around three years ago when founders Tebo & Jay came together to create a platform for individuals to share experiences and community through collective design, lifestyle and culture.
It is evident that vaabs culture centres around adaptability and connection, not exclusitivity. This is reflected across each of their collections through minimal design with their almost unbranded style they can be defined as normcore. The intentional move away from relying on difference with huge brand slogans and garish prints, allows vaabs to instead arrive at a post-authenticity coolness that opts for simplicity and sameness – togetherness.
A ‘buy well, once’ ethos enables the brand to focus on making considered clothing pieces for everyday life, creating an almost uniform-esque aesthetic. The popular hout hoodie featured on Pause Online and NCLGallery, along with the protea collection tee, are both made with ethically sourced woven organic materials and organic fabric dyes. The brand’s desire for influencing change is just as important as their desire to make great products, percentatge from each product sales goes to Beautiful Gate – a charity who contribute to the strengthening of communities in South Africa.
From their initial formation to ongoing expansion of their creative network, coffee culture has always been at the heart of the vaabs brand. The team recently linked up with high-end streetwear store LABCLO at their place in Birmingham. An afternoon of coffees, Hong Kong tea and hanging out produced an impromptu photoshoot for vaabs’ new ballito tee, with some inventive location shots.
Mid 2020, during the first lockdown, vaabs proved themselves to be ‘architects of living’ – creating a space for their ‘vaabs family’ to explore ideas through a series of successful work from home journals. These online publications highlighted ideal essentials including playlists, living packs, recommended reads and tools for the mind – physical distancing with social solidarity.
As many people in lockdown were seeing their homes as ‘machines for living’, curating both escapism and practicality within their domestic setting, vaabs introduced the printshop – a considered collection of original artwork.
The unprecedented events of last year have raised many unanswered questions and with a desire for positive community based social change at their core, vaabs embarked on a collaborative project to bring black-owned business and creatives together with ‘collaboration is harmony’. Working across a network of talented creatives and The Black Curriculum, vaabs supports the reimagining of the future of education through black British culture whilst improving social cohesion between young people in the UK.
In true vaabs style of love for coffee and collaboration, the brand has bonded those two things together to release their very own coffee. The umlazi roast, in collaboration with Nottingham roastery Outpost Coffee, is a well-rounded bean that caters for any set-up – a smooth profile presents notes of sweet chocolate, earthy almonds and lively raisin. The way
the product looks is equally as impressive as the taste, the umlazi roast packaging features classic vaabs minimal design and ethical considerations – it is 100% recyclable.
No doubt you’ll want to keep up with the many movements at vaabs.