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Fabelab – A soft, sustainable universe for babies and kids

Through an ornately carved doorway on Nansensgade, secreted away between the Botanisk Have and the busy Torvehallerne, sits the studio-store of Danish children’s brand Fabelab. Here its founder Michaela W-B and her small, enthusiastic team busily create soft, organic things ‘for dreamers and adventurers’, many of which are designed for buying now and carrying on through to later.

The studio, its aquamarine painted floor full of chipped-from-use charm, reveals both the history (in past products) and the future (in prototypes, sketches and colour swatches) of the brand, which Michaela began in 2013 when her own girls were one and four. An architect by training, her children’s items seem to feature 3D thinking – her first product was a quilted baby blanket that, like origami, folded to become a swan. It’s being re-released in a new colourway including a beautiful bronzy-gold thread, for AW17 and the idea has been extended to another blanket that converts into a boat.

Fabelab was founded around sweet new GOTS-certified takes on basics such as baby towels, muslins and dribble bibs. Four years on a whole universe exists, of wall stickers, graphic mobiles, fabric storage baskets, canopies, gym bags, soft bunting, teethers and more. When I meet the team, I wish aloud that I’d discovered the studio before, fearing my boys might think themselves too old for its soft, pastel world, which is punctuated with a mustard and a deep raspberry.

But (phew!) I’m wrong – a collection called Nightfall includes what I know will be my five-year-old son’s dream blanket: one side watercolored in a deep, inky blue and scattered with the tiny, irregular white dots for stars; the other of soft pale grey jersey; and the whole edged with gold piping. Its finishing touch is a cleverly placed loop to convert the blanket into a cape, that also serves as a blanket-dragging aid for tots. The blanket’s packaging also comes with a stretchy gold band so it can also transform into wings. As a committed fan of both Star Wars and dress-up imaginary play, the Dreamy blanket is, quite literally, a little piece of heaven made for Kasper!

The brand’s name comes from the combination of ‘fable’ and ‘laboratory’ and this meeting of whimsy and applied thinking in its name is a perfect reflection of Michaela’s former career as an architect. I think it’s why her products are true multi-taskers – for example, large soft storage bags featuring the animals of the brand’s universe reverse to reveal plain quilting, for when your child outgrows the animal look.

It’s also why Michaela has thought outside the proverbial box to make use of her products’ actual ones: those that package the brand’s small dolls can be converted into little doll houses using its website’s ‘Mini Makers’ printables. Already using off-cuts from her larger products for garlands, crowns and masks, Michaela has many more plans in this sustainable, zero-waste direction, some of which have been inspired by her own daughters and their play. A big win in my book!

The studio is, for now, definitely a studio and not a ‘shop’ per se, but Michaela has purposefully dressed the window to catch the eye of passers-by and to show that it’s completely open to curious visitors. She’s equipped with PayPal and a credit card machine for selling things straight off her shelves at the RRP, and plans are afoot for moving the studio into the back of the space and forming a real shop in the front in spring 2018.

Meantime, Fabelab will soon be hosting creative workshops for kids and perhaps a Christmas market, because meeting the brand’s customers, and most particularly their kids, holds great value and meaning for the designer and her crew. Here’s to what comes next: new shop, new ideas and all that brilliant sustainable thinking!

Open

Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm; weekends only for craft workshops (check the website for news of these)

Nansensgade 73
1366 København K

+45 93 99 03 83
[email protected]
fabelab.myshopify.com

 


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