Kid The Label X U Be You Collab

By Stella Hertantyo

In 2020, while a global pandemic turned the world upside down, three Capetonian women, Ulfah Davids, Seemaa Allie and Lindsey Eyre, realised that the only way forward was to imagine and create what they wished would exist in the world. So, during a national lockdown, local fashion brands U Be You (founded by Davids) and Kid The Label (Co-founded by Allie and Eyre) came to life, with a vision of reimagining clothing as a genderless expression of personal style, made with care and consideration for the natural and human world. Almost a year after each brand first shared their vision with the world, they have come together to create a collaborative capsule collection that reminds you to take care of your inner child, be playful and wear whatever clothes make you feel most like you.

U Be You brings a sense of whimsical playfulness to streetwear, while Kid The Label brings the cool of streetwear to kids clothing. Both are dedicated to creating high quality, comfortable, gender-neutral pieces. In many ways, this collaboration was meant to be, with both brands founded by women, brought to life during lockdown and focussed on creating an inclusive and sustainable fashion future. The capsule collaboration combines the essences of U Be You and Kid The Label and features two jackets in adult sizes and two jackets in kids’ sizes.

Aligning with the ethos of both brands, the collaborative capsule is gender neutral. We exist in a world that teaches us that certain clothes are meant for certain people and certain bodies. But, the truth is, gender isn’t a characteristic that is innate to clothing – it is a construct we have ascribed to it. Through the combination of Kid The Label’s gender neutral kidswear silhouettes and U Be You’s bold approach to colour, these collaborative pieces play with the constructs we have in our heads and help us return to the golden rule of dressing for yourself: if you like it, you should wear it.

Just as these jackets are an ode to embracing what makes you unique, each jacket is also entirely unique, because waste materials from each brand were used to create them. Sustainability is a cornerstone of both brands, with Davids sourcing end-of-roll fabric that would otherwise be destined for landfill to create U Be You garments, and Allie and Eyre using environmentally friendly fabrics (such as hemp) in their Kid The Label collections. The jackets are made from a combination of U Be You’s end-of-roll fabric and hemp offcuts from Kid The Label’s first collection. For this collaboration, the two brands wanted to continue their sustainability journeys by giving “waste” new life.

Understanding that environmental and social sustainability are inextricably linked, it was important for this collection to have a sense of social responsibility woven into its fibres too. Beyond ensuring that their production processes are ethical and honour the value of everyone involved, a percentage of the profits will be donated to 18twenty8. 18twenty8 is a local, women-led NPO that empowers young women by developing strategies for their educational and personal development. They do this through four programmes: life skills workshops for girls in Grade 11 and Grade 12 at high schools in marginalised communities, financial assistance for young women to further their tertiary education, mentorship for young women through their Big Sister Network, and a leadership development camp for young women. 

The collaboration went live on the 28th of May 2021 and within a few hours, all of the four jackets had found their forever homes. Sewn into each stitch of these jackets is a reminder that you should always honour your most authentic self, dress how you want to dress and show up in the world in the way that makes you feel your best. The colours are fun, the silhouettes are unusual, and best of all, you’ll never find another jacket like them. Each jacket is designed with love, crafted with care, sewn to last, and created with you in mind. If they could whisper a word of advice as you slip them on, they’d say, “don’t let the world tell you who you are supposed to be.”