Evolving from a fulfilling career in fashion retail and development spanning 22 years,Amanda du Plessis our founder ventured into developing a collection of Homeware in May 2010 at the prestigious Rooms on View in Johannesburg. The founder Sumari Krige selected the first collection to be represented in the South African house section. Evolution launched a collection of jacquard fabrics, school chairs with painted local narratives, knitted throws, cushions, pouffes, and large format digitally printed panels. All inspired by Amanda's family history- starting the desire of developing products with local narratives.
The collection - Chaos to Calm-was further Inspired by the TS Elliot poem- The Little Gidding:
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time".
In August 2010 we launched our complete jacquard range including the Heritage School Textiles range and the Soul range celebrating Ghanian Adinkra symbols.The jacquard assortment was developed in conjunction with Tie Weavers and Home fabrics South Africa.
The start to a very blessed journey.
Our first exports
The launch at Rooms on View was well received and we were approached by Trevyn McGowan founder of Southern Guild -a sourcing agency in South Africa -to supply Anthropologie with a selection of our painted school chairs. A dream come true!
In the same year our chair assortment were nominated by Jacquie Chemaly for the Visi New Designer Award.The range was developed in conjunction with the creative genius- Elizabeth Pulles who helped us convert narratives from our youth into visuals on old school chairs.
Our First Exhhibit at Maison et Object
In 2012 we Launched:
Evolution venturing abroad . Christina Ilzarbe founder of Danye in Spain approached us in 2012 to showcase our products at Maison et Objet. This was our first exposure on the internationally recognised platform. and our first distribution into European countries started.
Our school chair range evolved and were locally showcased in Poetry Stores.
Evolution started working with South African Archives
Evolution introduced our first archival collection inspired by South Africa's visual history.
A textile range honouring the inspirational story of Lucy Loyd -South Africa's first female PHD graduate- was created. Lucy Loyd worked with William Bleeck who was researching and recording the Khoi and San language in 1880. In the process three young boys, Nanni, Tammi and Da assisted them and created a range of prints to explain the language. This further inspired our desire to communicate our countries visual history onto textiles.
Mr Price Home's brilliant creative director Yanni Vosloo approached us to create a Colab range with Mr Price- we launched the range on the birth date of Nelson Mandela -embracing our Heritage and honouring our vast cultural differences in our country.
An exclusive collection of homeware was developed for Weylandts one of South Africa's best homeware retailers, a true privilege and the start of a partnership for the following seven years.
We evolved our offer to include machine embroidery and non toxic digital printing on 100% linen.
We exhibited our Desert Diaries collection at Design Indaba and our products were selected for Li Edelkoort’s beautiful -Africa stand.
Opening of our store, The Collective at the Watershed
Launching our store in the Watershed,Waterfront, Cape Town.- We collaborated with three other like minded brands and we called the space – The Collective-
A new collection the Magic Veld was launched at Design Indaba.
We showcased Our Desert Diaries range at 100% design in collaboration with Murrae Stephens from Coral Stephens,
The collection was awarded best new textile award.
After the succesfull collaboration with Mr Price Home in 2013 our second collection was launched.
Evolution are selected to be part of the CBI Export readiness program – this program was funded by the Netherlands Department of trade and industry. An incredible honour and with the advice of the mentors of this program, Solly Levy and Irene Vermeulen we evolved our offer and insured we adhered to International trade requirements. We further reduced our impact on our environment by using non-toxic printing and dying techniques and ensuring all our raw material adheres to international standards of responsible and sustainable production.
The launch of new ranges
Our first collaboration with SANBI - the South African Biodiversity institute - started with the discovery of a book of Sun Prints by Thomas Blagrave dating back to 1880. An incredible collection of original sun prints of ferns were created into a range of textiles to celebrate South Africa’s botanical visual history.
We continued working with Museum Africa in Johannesburg where we discovered an inspirational selection of South African Heritage textiles- some dating back to the 1600’s- The Varied Origins collection had to evolve- Embracing the textiles that together form a quilt of our different cultures.
We collaborated with the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam and created a range of textiles inspired by visuals never before seen In South Africa - these visuals were drawn and painted around the Cape in the 1700’s.
Developing our linen locally
Local textile development:
We embarked on a journey with one of our local mills to create the perfect base cloth for our digital prints. Svenmill created a quality utilising linen yarns that was spun in South Africa at the Herdmans plant.
Maison et Object: We launched our first collective exhibition at Maison et Object as part of the CBI selected group of designers from South Africa.
We exhibited at 100% design for the second time, were we were awarded - the best textile award for our Cyanotype -sun printed textiles
An inspiring year led us to develop a range honouring our countries vast grasslands and the importance of the species in our biosphere - The Swerving Savannahs collection was created which led us to discover other unsung botanical heroes like mosses – the Rapturous Ravines range evolved. A rather busy and creative year.
Launching our Commemorated Lithographs collection at Maison and Objet
Lithograph blocks used in the Landbou Weekblad in 1930 were discovered in the Sanbi archives. The discovery resulted in a range of designs created by photographing the reflections of the lithograph blocks in the sun.
Gallery launch: Everard Read – our designs were selected by director Christine Read for an exhibition at the Circa Gallery in Johannesburg.A great honour - our products are seen as more than decorative homeware and more as art and conversation pieces for the home.
We developed a new collection - Wills View- Inspired by our journey with botanicals we wanted to see what happens on the inside of plants and asked our local Vet to assist with his Xray equipment. A beautiful insight into the unseen structures resulted in the launch of our Will's View range.
Hertex approached us to develop an exclusive assortment.
We developed our first all-over printed curtain for a private home and later another for the Mount Nelson hotel in Cape Town.
Evolution and Woolworths South Africa creates a collaboration range of limited addition cushion covers.
Admin - our favourite activity forces us to develop new management systems. We link our website, stock management systems and our raw material control resulting in faster response to client orders.
Our wall-art are block framed and starts featuring as large scale art in homes and stores.
the launch of our Protectors of the Planet Range
Looking further for inspiration, and experiencing a deep desire to express our concern for our environment in our ranges, we are blessed to be presented with a book of pressed sea algea specimens from Sanbi’s Cape Town archives. We ventured into developing a range of sea life, focusing on Sea Algea specimens that retained their colours and shapes for over 80 years and communicating our concern for the health of our oceans.
We launch our final collective assortment with the CBI at Maison et Object.
Elizabeth Leriche selects us for her 'Whats New' trend assortment.
Evolving our sustainable processes. We continued to focus on evolving our manufacturing and packing processes and converted all our packaging into paper and biodegradable plastic, we launched reusable metal straws, and we started making tote bags from all of our off cuts and miss-prints.
Dying techniques - We reworked our hand dyeing processes to be colourfast and more sustainable.
USA: First Exhibit at NY Now
We are ready to venture to the United States where we launched our Protectors of the planet range in January 2019. After a great response we launch the Nymphaea collection in August 2019 at NY Now, we were nominated for the best new product and sustainability awards.
We further introduced jacquard throws and guest towels in our assortment adding texture to our print and embroidery offering.
Mr Price Home Our third collaboration with Mr Price Home launches embracing our love for a magical piece of heritage land close to our home called "Melville Koppie"
Independent exhibit at Maison et Objet
2020 - Our 10 Year Aniversary
2020 - Our 10 year anniversary year! Bravely venturing on our own with the help of our French agent we launch The Nympheae collection at our first independent stand at Maison et Object.A risk worth taking with all three trend forecasting exhibits, by Elizabeth Lerich, Francois Delclaux, and Francois Bernard at Maison et Objet selecting our ranges as directional product.
We venture back to the USA in Feb 2020– Where we expanded our reach by exhibiting at the innovative Shoppe Object show in downtown New York.