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Vagaband is an identification bracelet for the young traveler; a tech free way to keep life-saving information with you at all times.
Vagaband is an identification bracelet for the young traveler; a tech free way to keep life-saving information with you at all times.
Vagaband is an identification bracelet for the young traveler; a tech free way to keep life-saving information with you at all times.
226 backers pledged £24,741 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Vagaband - An ID Bracelet for the Modern Adventurer

£24,741

226

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.

The graphic files for colour 5 and one of the many unfortunate tales we heard from friends
The graphic files for colour 5 and one of the many unfortunate tales we heard from friends

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?

Some of our prototype Vagabands
Some of our prototype Vagabands

 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.

The back of a Vagaband filled in by one of our Vagabandits
The back of a Vagaband filled in by one of our Vagabandits

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. 

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 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. 

Henry on a trip to Africa
Henry on a trip to Africa

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… 

Infographic of results from one of our surveys, answered by our friends aged 19-25
Infographic of results from one of our surveys, answered by our friends aged 19-25

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.

Always at your side. Vagaband watches your back, not over your shoulder
Always at your side. Vagaband watches your back, not over your shoulder

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. 

In Bali, before setting out for the day. There are notes and numbers to be remembered!
In Bali, before setting out for the day. There are notes and numbers to be remembered!

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.

Our workshop in North London
Our workshop 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 the first Vagabands hot off the London production line, about to be taken to the washing machine for it's first test.
One of the first Vagabands hot off the London production line, about to be taken to the washing machine for it's first test.

 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. 

Interior designs for The Elephant Family, our first charity band. Bilingual interiors were required for their Tuk Tuk race. Which saw racers setting off across the old migratory routes of Elephants across India. Not a single racer left without one.
Interior designs for The Elephant Family, our first charity band. Bilingual interiors were required for their Tuk Tuk race. Which saw racers setting off across the old migratory routes of Elephants across India. Not a single racer left without one.

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.

Amber in India for The Elephant Family Tuk Tuk race
Amber in India for The Elephant Family Tuk Tuk race

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.

The Second stage prototype being stitched in 2015
The Second stage prototype being stitched in 2015

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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    THE SHOUTOUT: Your name immortalised on the Vagaband online Wall of Fame and huge radiant thank you from all of the team. We love your work!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $14

    THE STICKERS: Now you're talking! - Your name immortalised on the Vagaband online Wall of Fame and pack of exclusive Vagaband stickers designed by the illustrious Eddie Basset.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $21

    THE VAGABAND: Get yourself a genuine Vagaband for the world and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing you've done something good. We love you.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $35

    COMBO NO. 1: All of the above (1xVagaband 1xPack of Stickers 1xShoutout) and whole lot of good Karma.

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    Pledge £35 or more About $49

    COMBO NO. 2: Choose two Vagabands from the range:

    - For The World
    - India
    - London
    - South East Asia
    - Europe
    - South America
    - Africa

    Plus a pack of exquisite stickers designed by our head designer and co-founder: the great Eddie Basset himself.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $70

    COMBO NO. 3:

    The official Vagaband playlist gifted to your iTunes - all our favourite travelling tunes! Plus 2 Vagabands of your choice, a pack of Vagaband stickers... and, of course, a shoutout on our Wall of Fame

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $105

    WORLD TRAVEL PACK!

    For the real world traveller (or collector!) you get one of every Vagaband + all the above... so you've got bands, tunes, stickers and a heartfelt shoutout

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $139

    Vagaband works with established charities Refugee Action UK and St. Mungos. 20 specially designed Charity Vagaband's will be donated in your name and you will receive a certificate of thanks for your charitable kindness. Designed by our head designer on Polyart and suitable for framing.
    Not that you would need anything else! but you will also receive:
    Either a Scribble band (for those who just want a cool Vagaband for their musings) OR a travel Vagaband of your choice, and...
    1 pack of Stickers
    A special place on our wall of fame.

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    Pledge £135 or more About $188

    KURT'S SHURT

    "There's only one rule that I know of babies -goddamn it you gotta be kind"
    Kurt Vonnegut...

    Sums it up and says it all - these are words to love so we've had them screen printed onto a lovely, soft 100% cotton, 100% ethical t-shirt. We have them with sleeves or no sleeves, you choose!.

    & 2 Vagabands - you choose which.
    & The official Vagaband travelling playlist gifted to your iTunes.
    PLUS we'll write you a lovely thank you on polyart stationery so you can keep it forever!.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $209

    MAKING IT PERSONAL...

    SO you get all the above...

    PLUS a personal thank you from the Vagaband team - just drop us your Skype address (or phone number if you're feeling old-school) and we'll call you any time that suits you to say thank you in person.

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    Pledge £300 or more About $418

    FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE:
    Planning a trip any time in the future? Tell us where you're going and we'll get one of our travel experts to craft you your own personalised itinerary... tell us what you're into and where you're heading and you get the inside track on anywhere in the world!
    Oh, and of course you get our playlist and a few Vagabands to keep you safe while you set off on your adventures. And some stickers...
    And of course a Skype shoutout and a place on our Wall of Fame!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge £300 or more About $418

    A signed copy of Don MCullin in Africa. Arguably the greatest photographer of our time, Don McCullin’s documents tribes living at the very edge of civilisation.
    Don will sign your copy and you will receive a special edition ‘For the Journey’ Vagaband created for us by Artist Nick Rendall.
    We will also include a Vagaband designed especially for Africa so you will be well prepared if you decide to visit any of the tribes documented in Don’s incredible book.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $697

    A PART OF VAGABAND HISTORY!

    3X Vagabands,
    An Expanded Vagaband Playlist,
    A Skype thank-you,
    a shoutout on our Wall of Fame...

    & A Vagaband banner signed by all of our creative contributors and the whole Vagaband team, complete with a handwritten message thanking you for helping us make this all come true.
    (A bit more for shipping, unfortunately... but then again it's a pretty big banner!)

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $697

    FOR THE CROSS CONTINENTAL ADVENTURER

    Choose six Vagabands from our range,
    Two of our lovely, soft 100% cotton, 100% ethical t-shirts.
    One of these is the Kurt Vonnegut shirt "There's only one rule that I know of babies -goddamn it you gotta be kind” &
    The other is our motto “Hope for Sunshine, Prepare for Rain”, words to live and love by.
    We have them with sleeves or no sleeves, you choose!.
    and our special travel playlist as well as a personalised itinerary for anywhere in the world compiled by our travel experts and printed on poly-art so you can throw it in your rucksack and get exploring.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge £750 or more About $1,046

    THE ULTIMATE LONDON GUIDED TOUR

    A wicked day out, exploring the UK's capital accompanied by one of Vagaband's founders (you choose!).
    This is indeed a treat that's hard to beat, If you or someone you know is flying into London we will be there to meet you and show you the town in an iconic Black Cab (from a London Airport, train or bus station). We will also put you up in a carefully selected Hostel for one night.
    Once you have settled in, one of our founders will take you on a day or night time tour of the ‘Real’ London including lunch or dinner. We will also create a personalised itinerary for the rest of your stay with all our favourite London locations and Vagabands to match.
    A great way to experience London for the first time or to see the city in a whole new way.
    Get The Mad Hatter on the horn, you're having a tea party!.

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Funding period

- (33 days)