While many spent lockdown elbow deep in banana bread, Sabrina and Idris Elba had other ideas, and conjured up an idea for a revolutionary new business. The world of wellbeing (a market that’s expected to be valued at $430.52 billion by 2028), had piqued the pair’s interest, and they got talking about what they could create off the back of it – something that would truly make a difference.
“It began during a conversation Idris and I had at a time in which we felt disconnected from our community,” Sabrina tells me over Zoom. “It opened up the idea of wellbeing and self-care that we hadn’t really thought of before – looking at wellness from the outside in, in terms of your community and who’s around you. That’s when it clicked.”
The result is S’Able Labs, a multifaceted wellbeing brand that will ultimately span events and partnerships, as well as – as Vogue can exclusive reveal today – genderless skincare products. “Sable is actually ‘Elbas’ backwards,” Sabrina explains, “Idris is sweet – he thinks of all these things.” The couple’s aim is to shake up the wellness industry, and to make what has in the past been a predominantly white, cisgendered space, more available to people of all ethnicities, genders and backgrounds.
“We realised quickly that there was no one doing it in the wellness space that looked like, spoke like or felt like us – there was no representation for people of colour who wanted to be into wellness and fit in,” she says. “Plus everything was gender-focused – I’d have conversations with my husband on products he didn’t think he could use [due to them being aimed at women], but could.”
Their genderless skincare range – which will “be affordable but luxury, and address concerns, from hyperpigmentation to inflammation, that so many people face” – is on its way this summer. The Elbas already host a podcast on Audible, named Coupledom, through which they speak to other couples who inspire them. “We believe in the power of partnerships – these conversations are where we learn and educate ourselves, and through that we can bring people along on the journey and show that there’s so much more to this world than just looking inside ourselves.”
One of the brand’s key beliefs is that people who feel good, do good. “When you are happier, doing good just comes naturally,” says Sabrina. “That’s why self-care is such an important thing in partnerships and relationships – when you’re feeling really good about yourself, you’re able to share that with other people and it’s infectious. I feel like we’ve forgotten about that because we’ve been so isolated. We want to remind people to share that good energy.”
And how has it been working with her husband? “It’s definitely had its hardships – we’d be completely lying if we didn’t admit that off the bat,” she laughs. “But at the same time, it’s brought us so much closer together. We have a shared purpose of creating this change, and we remind each other that it’s okay if it’s hard sometimes, because it just leads to better outcomes. As our business relationship grows, our personal one grows alongside it. And Idris is really new to the skincare journey – so it’s great to be able to share amazing skincare with him – he finally gets it!”
And, since 22 February 2022 is “Twos Day” – or 22.2.22 – it was the perfect moment to announce their plans. “It’s our day,” says Sabrina, “Coupledom day.”