40 Leading South African Designers Showcase their Work at NEXT19
A group of 40 South African designers are presenting their new product ranges at the NEXT19 exhibition in Cape Town this month.
Taking place at the Scheryn Pavilion at the V&A Waterfront from 28 February to 3 March, the NEXT19 Trade Exhibition showcases the best of South African craft and design, ready to be ordered by local buyers as well as international importers, retailers and decorators.
Attendance is free to all visitors and the participants range from House and Leisure favourites Skinny laMinx and Mungo to Barrydale Hand Weavers and Macassar Pottery, to name a few. The NEXT19 trade exhibition is part of the Development by Design programme, which helps small and medium businesses in South Africa to develop and grow. A remarkable 60 entrepreneurs have been participating in the programme, helping them to take their design studio, workshop or manufacturing company to the next level, and to access the export market. The project is an initiative of the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), and their local partner, the Craft and Design Institute (CDI).
According to Irene Vermeulen of the CBI, one of the key aspects of the Development by Design programme is the content that places an emphasis on sustainability, not only in the business sense, but also socially and environmentally. This ‘triple bottom line’ approach is especially relevant in developing countries. She says, ‘This innovative approach has not only created tangible results – an average more than 50% increase in export sales from 2016 to 2018 to EU/EFTA markets – but also co-creation and collaboration between the participating entrepreneurs. Most of the creative entrepreneurs on our programme are women (60%), and 52% of their staff are women.’
New product ranges at NEXT19 include handwoven rugs using recycled fabric from the apparel industry by Lula Rugs, a range of cushion covers that make use of natural dyes by Aucamp Studio and planters by Gold Bottom Pots. Also featuring for the first time this year are stunning ceramics by Macassar Pottery, a community-based centre that trains members of the community to become skilled crafters, as well as young and upcoming ceramist Sikho Mququ, founder of Ckho Ceramique.