Our suppliers adhere to the South African bargaining councils' employment requirements.
Good health and well-being
The health and well-being of our staff members is invaluable.
Evolution Product aims to employ newly graduated students to give them an opportunity to enter the workplace in a nurturing environment where they can develop and obtain experience in all aspects of the creative industry. Some of our employees have benefitted from contributions to further studies.
Youth development has been our CEO’s focus for the past 20 years.
Mentorship: Bonny Wagner-Read, Brand Manager Pringle Ladieswear (2010)
“As a young, impressionable 19-year-old, desperate to break into the fashion industry, meeting the dynamic, passionate Amanda was a dream come true. Being a trainee buyer under Amanda was the best learning experience I could have wished for. Having been in this industry for 17 years now, I still find moments when I am making a decision on a design or negotiating with a supplier and it feels like Amanda is in my head reminding me of all I have learned.”
Mentorship: Claire Knight, Burberry Brand Manager (2010)
“Just over six years ago, while working as an assistant to the MD at Polo clothing, Amanda approached me to assist her in her role as merchandise and planning manager for the Polo stand-alone stores. Under her guidance and mentorship it felt like I completed my Master’s degree. I learned the intricacies of setting up a retail reporting system, buying and planning across multiple categories, visual merchandising, and operations. Amanda’s diverse skill set afforded me the opportunity of learning the full spectrum of retail principles and practices and resulted in my being headhunted by Mango South Africa and, two years, later Burberry. My two years of training under Amanda have stood me in such good stead. Amanda’s passion, tenacity, knowledge and standing in the industry are enviable.”
“One of the best moves we have made at SAFW was to call on the expertise and business knowledge of Amanda du Plessis of Evolution.” Lucilla Booyzen, Director SA Fashion Week
“She is bringing the financial and design together, teaching us to really plan.” Abigail Betz
Evolution is a female-owned company with a majority of female employees.
Affordable clean energy
We use natural gas for our dying processes and are working on solutions to reduce our use of municipal water resources. We aim to be 100% reliant on solar power in our head office by 2021.
Decent work and economic growth
We currently source 60% of our raw materials in South Africa. All our raw materials adhere to the international OEKA Tex standards.
Our digital printing, embroidery, dyeing, and CMT are done in South Africa, supporting the growth of the local economy.
All our factories adhere to fair employment practices.
"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for your continued support to us at Chile Clothing. We have worked with you continuously since 1998, when you were buying at Stuttafords and then subsequently at Polo. We felt very honoured that you would ask us to work with you on your own venture, Evolution, and have worked with you ever since. Chile Clothing has always concentrated on producing locally and using natural fabrics. We have always supplied the smaller niche market, which has enabled us to wholly invest in the beauty and construction of our products. We have also always felt the necessity to support local manufacturing, given that South Africa’s clothing manufacturing sector is diminishing at an alarming rate with regard to skills and numbers. This will never be solved in a day and certainly not all by us, but every bit helps and it gives me great pride and pleasure to work with you and share in your innovation and exceptional creativity. You have brought to life images and designs in the commercial sphere that would have without a doubt remained hidden and greatly unappreciated. I surely hope that we can continue our meaningful collaboration into the future, knowing that we continue to make a very important albeit small contribution to the well-being of South Africa."
CEO James Dumbrill
“Amanda’s experience in retail has brought tremendous value, discipline, and structure to my business. She has a wealth of valuable knowledge about the industry. She’s made us focus on gross profits, margins, stock turns, and turnover per square meter. She’s introduced a whole new language to our creative environment! For me, mentorship is also about passion, common vision, and chemistry.”
Nkensani Nkosi, Creative Director Stoned Cherrie 2007
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
We are innovative and we ensure that our processes are sustainable. We embrace our historic visuals’ narrative. We support factories with the same ethos and aim to keep the bulk of our manufacturing processes within the borders of South Africa. Our CEO has been working in the local industry for the past 30 years.
Some comments from manufacturers she has dealt with:
“Amanda is a dream and a nightmare to work with — a fashion executive who knows too much about our brand, our business and what we should want to do for her customers.” Gordon Joffee, CEO Polo SA 2002
“South Africa in many respects often does not recognize the talent that exists on its own doorstep in terms of true fashion leaders. Amanda certainly can be considered part of this small elite group of people that have made a significant contribution towards the fashion industry in this country and in particular the Stuttafords organization. In her constant attempt to push the boundaries, she unleashed her talent at Stuttafords, achieving long-lasting results for the business at large. Her skills at range creation and product knowledge allowed her the opportunity to successfully launch three innovative private labels for the business. Oaktree continues to be the largest brand in our woman’s wear portfolio. Her inspiration in building this brand contributed to some of the highest stock turns in the business. During her long career at Stuttafords Amanda identified the need to include two new brands in our lifestyle business. Excursion and Define was developed from concept to product within six months.”
Marco Cicoria, CEO Stuttafords 2009
“Some 15 years ago, the Hip Hop brand was launched in Stuttafords nationally. Shortly thereafter we were approached by the designer, merchandiser, and creative genius behind Oaktree, Define and Excursion, to manufacture products for these in-house Stuttafords brands. We were suitably in awe of this formidably talented buyer, Amanda du Plessis, and enjoyed a long successful relationship with her. For the past five years, Amanda has been retained as a retail consultant and merchandiser through her own company — Evolution.”
Cheryl Arthur, co-owner Hip Hop Fashion, ex-president SA Clothing Federation 2010
Sustainable cities and communities
We have been part of numerous philanthropy efforts, such as donating bedding, equipment and art materials to underprivileged schools, and supporting farmers in drought-stricken areas. We also provide financial assistance to the institutions that look after our environment.
Responsible consumption and production
We are focussed on transforming all our production processes to be responsible and sustainable. Our factories have the required certification to ensure none of their processes is harmful to the environment and that fare employment practices are adhered to. Most of our assortment is made up in 100% linen — a sustainable natural resource. We are working on increasing our local purchasing of raw materials from 60% to 75%.
Our embroidery factory is using grey water to reduce water consumption. We educate our consumers to buy responsibly made/sourced products that are not harmful to the environment.
We have evolved all our packaging into paper and biodegradable plastic.
“It has been a real pleasure working with you and your company Evolution Product for the last two years. We have been excited by your focus on local manufacture as well as the use of local design archives which, when combined with our locally woven fabrics, celebrate the skill and production techniques that exist in South Africa. We wish you every success with your continued development both at home and abroad. With our thanks for your continued support and vision.”
Brent Greenblatt, Managing Director, Svenmill, South Africa 2019
Our production is done locally, ensuring that we use less transportation.
We do not support factories that release any harmful chemicals into the environment, and ensure all practices are centred around looking after our planet.
None of our dyeing and printing processes is toxic.
Life below water
Our range “Protectors of the Planet” narrates the importance of seaweeds in saving our oceans. Through this range, we create awareness of the impact pollution has on our oceans, and we developed metal straws and reusable tote bags to discourage the use of plastic.
We encourage our clients to take action in reducing their plastic usage to promote the restoration of our oceans.
Life on land
We work closely with organisations like the South African National Biodiversity institute to source visuals that communicate the plight of our environment.
Our range “Nymphaea” tells the story of water lilies and the importance of our freshwater resources. Through this range, we aim to spread awareness of sustainable water usage and the restoration of our freshwater ecosystems.
In our “Swerving Savannahs” range we honour our local, indigenous grass species and their conservation. We aim to raise awareness about the importance of indigenous species and why we should eradicate alien plants in our environment.
Peace, justice and strong institutions
We promote the rule of law and ensure that all of our practices are at all times legal, ethical, and in furtherance of good governance.
We create our own designs from historical sources and we do not stoop to imitation.
Partnership for the goals
We take part in international trade shows, exporting to more than 20 countries.
We select like-minded distributors and agents who adhere to our brand’s philosophy of sustainable development. We contribute to the total exports of South Africa, a developing country.
We collaborate with local and international designers to expand our South African product offering.