Our story

Curious about Glubbs’ quietly epic origin story? Oh, we’ll give you a hand there.

At the height of Corona, the once sparkling New York City stood empty and still. ‘Medical blue’ face masks and rubber gloves freckled the sidewalks. Grocery stores were devoid of all but vegan food (hey, lucky vegans). The subway smelled of latex and liberally applied hand sanitizer. And of course, the black market toilet paper trade was booming.

All the while, Glubbs founder Fikile Mthwalo geared up for her first lockdown grocery trip. Like many, she hadn’t left the house since the pandemic’s intrusive arrival. When it came to that first pandemic ensemble, she was determined to go all out for her grocery store fit. Only as she was leaving the house did she peep her bare hands and remember: rubber gloves were a newfound necessity in New York. So she donned a pair of garish blue rubber gloves, only to find that it harshly clashed with her look. Were there no cuter gloves available? There had to be, or so she thought.

Fiki’s aesthetic objections only account for half of our origin story here at Glubbs. Like one of two parents, if you will. Sustainability concerns had an equal share in our creation.

Fiki recalled the thousands of blue gloves she’d seen littered across the streets of Brooklyn. She wondered (and worried about) what became of them after the wearer peeled them off. Were they eco-friendly? Biodegradable? The sheer volume of them made her hope so.

Fiki found herself pining for a glove that fulfilled two simple requirements: 

  1. Kind to the environment
  2. Won’t clash with the ball gowns that we’ll all be wearing to the grocery store until further notice (or you know, any outfit, ideally). In other words, they had to be cute.

The problem was, that glove simply didn’t exist.

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, which (naturally) includes gloves, had assumed an identity every bit as drab and somber as the pandemic that surrounded it. Fiki wondered, did PPE have to be so devoid of personality, in an already cold and sterile medical landscape?

She turned a sympathetic eye to every patient being poked and prodded by people in hazmat suits and other impersonal PPE. She could only imagine how it exacerbated whatever fear they were already feeling. In her opinion, there was no reason we couldn’t brighten things up a bit, and inject a bit of personality into the business of saving lives. 

Doctors should be serious. But who says PPE can’t be a little more light-hearted?

Fiki dreamed of a glove brand that would marry aesthetics with biodegradability, in what she warmly calls “sexy sustainability.” She wanted to develop a fashionable nitrile glove that could quickly and reliably break down in landfills. She found the perfect manufacturer to ‘give her a hand.’ (When it comes to hand puns, we, like Miley, can’t stop.)

And so, a conscious little brand called “Glubbs” was born.

We’re the eco-friendly glove. We’re the biodegradable glove. We’re the sustainable glove. And above all, we’re the responsible glove. Learn more about why on Our Gloves page.

We figure, millions of people snap on a pair of gloves every day, be they doctors, aestheticians, or women hitting the grocery store in style. We want them to look good, and feel good about the imprint they’re leaving on the environment. Glubbs is founded on the notion that the two don’t have to be at odds with one another. Aesthetics and the environment can forge a symbiotic relationship, ergo: sexy sustainability.

And that’s the skinny on Glubbs, the responsible glove.