Friday 21 June 2013

Vaho: Vinyl Addiction

Here's a tip from Guru Ian that I'm happy to share. While wandering around Barcelona (a detail that he somehow couldn't resist from slipping into his email) he came across a company called Vaho.
They create bags, wallets and holdalls from heavy, commercial-grade vinyl--the sort of stuff you see on hoardings and billboards. This long-lasting, heavyweight material is, like the rubber used in Katcha Bilek or Sophie Postma's bags, a resource that's ripe for retasking. The vinyl is taken from banners used as promotional materials for festivals, concerts and special events--material that has served its primary purpose, but has plenty of life left in it. It's cleaned, cut and formed into a wide range of accessories.
The end result is colourful, practical and dare I say it (yes, yes I dare) chock-full of both WANT and GIMMEE. The aesthetic is close to Frieheit's messenger bags. The waxed tarpaulin, with its splashes of logowork and beautiful information design, has an edgy feel that works well with the knowledge that you'd have to work very hard indeed to damage these bags beyond repair.
There's some clever thinking in the way the bags have been put together as well. Each Vaho piece contains a strong rare-earth magnet, which means you can stick them on any metal surface. This gives the Vaho shops a neat way of showing off their goods: the walls are clad in steel, and everything's magnetically stuck in place.
Of course, there's also the knowledge that every Vaho piece is, by dint of being made from commercial signage, different from every other piece. You're getting a lot of designer cool, and a very tough, hard-wearing bag for your money. You can even design your own. Pick your bag, pick your banner, merge the two and you have something that's unique to you.
People, I've spent all morning slobbering in a most unseemly fashion over Vaho and their "trashion" accessories on their webstore. They're making great products with a genuine desire to create sustainably, all with a suitably Spanish dash of surreal humour. They're always trying out new things, experimenting with furniture, totes made from old jute coffee bags and more.
Vaho are just my speed, and I'm definitely going to check them out when I'm next in Barcelona. The dfficult bit is deciding how much I can get away with spending. Muy bueno!

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