Intro: What is a Vagaband?
Vagaband keeps the information that’s most important to you close at hand wherever you are!
Tell me more!
Vagaband is all about embracing the wild uncertainties that make travelling such a wonderful experience. So, far from trying to discourage young people from taking risks, we want to foster a mentality where these risks can be embraced. With a Vagaband on your wrist, you can be certain your needs will be communicated clearly... just in case.
Vagaband is a virtually indestructible, updateable bracelet for adventurers, travellers and explorers. It folds out to reveal a sheet large enough to contain any essential emergency medical and contact information that a traveller might need. But Vagabands are so much more: a diary, a sketchbook, a memento… It gives travellers a much-needed safety net, while also holding all the memories that are just too precious to confine to a screen.
Waterproof, tear-proof, fire-resistant… Vagabands are tough enough to handle anything that the intrepid adventurer is likely to come across. So how is it that something so small can have so many tricks up its sleeve? It all comes down to our patented concertina folding method.
Concertina folding has been around for thousands of years - it's the oldest known method of bookbinding, and it works just as well today as it did back then... so why mess with a classic?
The bands lie flat when worn, not more than 3mm thick on the wrist - they'll become nearly flat once they've been worn a bit and softened to the contours of your own wrist. Once taken off, the inner section opens out to allow for a double-sided writing area of about 6x9 inches each side. The Front interior is laid out for the information you're likely to want with you, the reverse is for notes and sketches or anything else that takes your fancy.
Technology sometimes fails – batteries die, signals fade, screens smash… modern tech really is nothing short of magical, but at the end of the day, sometimes it really is best to just keep it simple.
Part of what makes Vagaband so special is its simplicity - it doesn't rely on microchips or techy gimmicks; it won't break down on you and it won't smudge, fade or wear out, no matter how wild your adventures: that’s why we’re proud to say that Vagabands are 100% tech-free. You don't need a special ink or pencil to write on them and they require zero technical knowhow... We want you to be in charge of your own adventures and not have to worry about being let down by technology when you need it most.
Over the years, we’ve been inspired over and over again by the incredible level of community amongst travellers. This is something that we want to encourage – and we think Vagabands can play a big part in this. Not only do they look great, they encourage travellers to look after each other, they spark conversations with new friends, and, should something go wrong, they contain all the information that might be needed if a fellow traveller needs a helping hand.
There’s even more to Vagaband than that though – while these incredible wristbands can do a huge amount to encourage travellers to look after one another, they can also help less fortunate people around the world. When you buy a Vagaband, for yourself, your travel buddies, or your kids, we will give one to charity to help refugees, displaced people, dementia sufferers, or other groups who may find themselves in danger of being lost, frightened and unidentified. Being able to access important medical or personal information can help reunite families, and save lives, so when you buy a Vagaband you’re not just looking after yourself or your nearest and dearest, you’re helping those who need it the most.
Why have you done it?
Travel has always been close to our hearts - with decades of combined experience enjoying the world off the beaten trail we've experienced firsthand the dangers that young travellers face when they're on the road... and that's what's inspired and informed the design of Vagaband. We also surveyed two hundred young travellers from around the world to get a better idea of the problems they faced on their adventures, here are some answers from the first of the surveys…
Where did it Come From?
During our own time on the road, we’ve had some truly amazing experiences: every one of us here at the Vagaband Collective has made new friends and seen incredible things. Unfortunately we all have one other thing in common: we all know someone who’s suffered due to a serious incident while travelling – and some who have, tragically, even lost their lives. Vagabands are here to reassure travellers that they will never be nameless, and that they never feel alone.
Travel is full of setbacks, stumbling blocks and crazy mishaps… and the vast majority of these turn into funny stories within a couple of days – but it’s a fine line between a misadventure and something much worse. Maybe you have an accident – maybe you find yourself a victim of crime… maybe someone has an allergic reaction, or are prescribed the wrong medication for them: it’s times like this when having the right information can save the day… or even save your life.
How did you Create Vagaband?
We knew that no matter how important and vital the Vagaband is, it was important that it look great… that’s we put a lot of time and thought into their visual design. Each band reflects the spirit and culture of a different part of the world; they showcase the essence and art of the people who make up all the places you’d want to see.
When it came to the bands themselves, our biggest challenge was to make Vagaband durable so it doesn’t fail you when you need it the most, but also make sure that you can always update and change the information in it as you go. Basically – it needed to work like normal paper… but do so much more. After months of experimenting with different folding techniques and internal layouts we figured it out: a patent-protected method for making a beautiful, comfortable and super-rugged wristband that any traveller would want to wear.
As travellers we all love our planet, so from the very start we were committed to keeping Vagabands environmentally friendly and ethically sound at every level of production. This is one thing we will never, ever compromise on: the bands are recyclable, sustainable and handmade in our own workshop right here in North London.
What have you done so far?
We’ve created different Vagaband designs for different parts of the world – and the collection keeps on growing… but it’s important to us that they remain clear to purpose everywhere in the world. This is why the interior sheet which folds out from each band always has the same basic layout. This means that, as well as being beautiful, Vagabands can be understood no matter where your adventures take you.
One of our goals is to create bilingual band interiors. At the moment we use internationally recognised icons to illustrate what information the sheet contains, but making sure that Vagabands are clear and understandable in any language is our ultimate goal.
Vagaband has been tested all over the world across 5 continents already, and we have had amazing feedback from all kinds of people, but now we need your help to make Vagaband a global phenomenon.
The sheet is made of Polyart, which is ethically sourced, and fully recyclable so it is completely sustainable. Since Vagabands are created in London, we’re able to keep a close eye on the whole process, from the first design concept to the finished article.
Why do you need the help of Kickstarter?
Vagaband can become the go-to travel companion for adventurers around the world… but only with your help. We want to make travel as simple, as safe and as social as possible – and Vagaband can make that happen. With the help of Kickstarter, we can create an international tribe of likeminded nomads – united by a shared love of the road less travelled.
With funds raised on Kickstarter we’ll be able to start filling bigger orders and getting Vagabands out there to as many people as possible. We’ll also be able to expand our web presence, and develop more tools both online and on the ground to make your travels easier, safer and more social.
Vagaband is also committed to a one-for-one initiative: for every band you buy we will give another to charity, so we can help people who need it the most.
Risks and challenges
We've already dealt with most of the challenges we anticipated - we've found a perfect material, a secure fastening, a clear design and a seamless manufacturing process... but that's not to say there's not more to come:
As demand grows, we'll have to scale up production more and more, as well as develop our web presence to accommodate new users from around the world. Fortunately we're all set to deal with these possibilities: we're in place to be able to create hundreds of thousands of Vagabands per month, and our in-house tech genius is just waiting to expand our online capabilities.
The risks involved are minimal - there's no shortage of materials or manufacturing capabilities and we're able to fill large orders of bands at short notice. We know that Vagaband has enormous potential and, with a little help from you, we can bring it all to life.
Thanks for taking the time to have a look at our campaign... we've set up a bunch of great rewards for you if you do decide to back us, but even if you don't we appreciate every share; so please tell your friends!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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