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Wren was born from a desire to return to basics and to rethink the conventional approach to product development. The owner, Wendren Setzer, wanted to take on a new challenge after becoming dissatisfied with the routine of working in a clothing factory. Her first project was to create a handbag for herself, and this became the start of a long line of product innovations as the business took shape. Perhaps the most iconic example of Wren’s product offering is the company’s bestselling range of PPC-branded sling bags made from recycled cement paper. The bag is striking for the way in which it combines contemporary design ideas with ordinary materials to produce something that is both practical and beautiful. From there, the company has expanded its range to include lifestyle accessories to suit all tastes. But why paper? As it turns out, there is a lot more to this humble material than meets the eye. With correct conditioning, it becomes a durable fabric that is able to stand up to the elements while still retaining its basic character. Simply put, it is a pure expression of design – from concept to creation. From the workshop, these paper products have made their way into the wider world – first at the local design market in Woodstock, Cape Town; and later when Wren was invited to participate in the Design Indaba as an emerging creative. Wren began to establish itself as a fast-growing international company with a reputation for sustainable manufacturing, fair business ethics, innovation, quality workmanship and excellent customer service. Wren continues to expand and develop its uniquely innovative design ideas and there are exciting plans in the works for the coming year.

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Opposite, clockwise from top left: Wendren and Jennifer working on colours; Yvonne and Fernanda in the studio; Denise cutting foam; Yvonne checking quality; Bradley cutting sleeves; Yvonne preparing orders.


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Natural Cotton Backpack.............................. 8 Natural Cotton Messenger.............................10 Natural Cotton Sling....................................... 12

Ara sleeve..........................................................16 Cama sleeve.....................................................18 Wata sleeve...................................................... 20

Blue Bicycles sleeve........................................24 Forest Bikes sleeve..........................................26

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In 2016, natural bags were introduced into the Wren range. Made from paper with African cow hide leather straps and closing tabs, they were called the Natural Leather Messenger Bag and the Natural Leather Sling Bag. This year, 2017, Wren introduces a non-leather version and the brand new backpack. The Natural Cotton Bags are made from the same unprinted brown paper that is collected from the cement sack-printing factory in South Africa. Once at our studio in Cape Town, we fuse the paper to fabric and send this “paper material” to our teams of sewers to make up the bags with strong cotton webbing straps. This cotton is locally manufactured and dyed charcoal in South Africa. Once the bags are back at our studio we check the quality and coat them with Nano Liquid Glass so that they are water resistant and able to withstand nature’s elements. The final touches are the punching of branded press-studs – because details matter – to make sure that the bag closes securely, the attaching of tip ends and finally attaching the tag. This process takes a while and each bag is handled by at least five people who take great care to ensure that at each stage quality standards are adhered to. No seam can be unpicked and re-stitched! There is only one opportunity to get a bag right so it must be done correctly from the beginning. This makes each bag a handmade work of artistry.

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STRAP END

COLOUR OPTIONS

BAG FEATURES

• Two layers of recycled brown cement paper • Paper fused to fabric (outer layer fused to cotton twill fabric that is extra thick) • Two 100% Cotton webbing shoulder straps • Top handle to carry the bag • Tip ends (on straps) • Adjustable • Secure press stud closure (two on the outside flap and one inside) • Inside pocket • Padded base • Coated with Nano liquid glass

Unbleached recycled paper Natural cotton canvas

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Natural Cotton Backpack 35cm x 26cm x 10cm deep

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BAG FEATURES

• Two layers of recycled brown cement paper fused to fabric • 100% cotton webbing straps • Adjustable • Secure press stud closure • Inside pocket • Padded base • Coated with Nano liquid glass Natural Cotton Messenger 26cm x 38cm x 5.5cm deep 10


STRAP END

COLOUR OPTIONS

Unbleached recycled paper Natural cotton canvas

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Unbleached recycled paper Natural cotton canvas

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Natural Cotton Sling 30cm x 24cm x 4cm deep


STRAP END

COLOUR OPTIONS

BAG FEATURES • • • • • • •

Two layers of recycled brown cement paper fused to fabric 100% cotton webbing straps Adjustable Secure press stud closure Inside pocket Padded base Coated with Nano liquid glass 13


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In 2017 we are introducing a new range of prints called Optical Africa. The inspiration for this range is rich and complex and, as with all Wren products, the story is a long connection of experiences. A few years ago Wendren visited the Escher Museum in The Netherlands and left resolving to develop a range that would create a trickery similar to so many of Escher’s works. Upon returning to African soil she found that many African printed textiles had a similar intrigue that captures you as you learn about the fable, story or message that is being portrayed. Marrying these two inspirations, the Optic Africa concept was born. Wendren wrote to graphic artist Diana Etjiana: “Wren sleeves and bags are a wooden door to an electronic world. Our products are a tactile adventure and we want it to engage all the senses: touch, sight, and now the mind, as we bring another level of wonder to our products with this new range.” Diana Etjiana is a German-born mixed media artist but her work has an indisputable African influence. She works with wood linocuts and silkscreen to keep the organic root of the drawing and the imperfection of repetition. The final phase is digitising the design. All of the designs in the Optical Africa collection took over six months to develop, with many variations and lots of woodcuts to get the right balance of contemporary pattern, story and optical illusion that pleasantly captivates.

Above: parts of the process of carving linocuts, creating screens and silkscreening.


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Since antiquity, frogs have been seen as supernatural creatures. Many frogs have healing properties. The great African Bullfrog that comes out for a few days a year when it rains is a delicacy. Some frogs are deadly and some even have mind-altering qualities.

COLOUR OPTIONS

SLEEVE FEATURES

• Recycled brown cement paper fused to cotton (outside) • Batting fused to brushed cotton (inside) • Hidden magnets • Secure press stud closure (on laptop sleeves) • Front pocket • Coated with Nano liquid glass

SIZE GUIDE 15” Macbook 13” Macbook 12.9 “ iPad Pro & 13” 2016 Macbook

12” Macbook

tablet iPad mini & kindle

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The chameleon is a deeply respected and often feared reptile in Africa, with one eye that looks into the future and the other into the past. Most Africans will not go near a chameleon and view them as very bad omens. They are fascinating creatures: a prehistoric body that can change colour is less than 20 second with a tongue that rolls out longer than their body, and let’s not forget how slowly they move. Some African fables say that this is why they cannot be trusted. There are many beliefs associated with this little creature that hides in the trees.

SLEEVE FEATURES • • • • • •

Recycled brown cement paper fused to cotton (outside) Batting fused to brushed cotton (inside) Hidden magnets Secure press stud closure (on laptop sleeves) Front pocket Coated with Nano liquid glass

SIZE GUIDE 15” Macbook tablet

13” Macbook 12.9 “ iPad Pro & 13” 2016 Macbook

12” Macbook iPad mini & kindle

COLOUR OPT

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TIONS

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The final design of the three is inspired by water and fish. African rivers are deadly not only because of the creatures that live in them but also because of the strong and powerful gods that rule them. With lots of flowing lines that mimic the currents, this design pays respect to one of the greatest life givers and takers in Africa.

SLEEVE FEATURES

• Recycled brown cement paper fused to cotton (outside) • Batting fused to brushed cotton (inside) • Hidden magnets • Secure press stud closure (on laptop sleeves) • Front pocket • Coated with Nano liquid glass

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SIZE GUIDE 15” Macbook 13” Macbook 12.9 “ iPad Pro & 13” 2016 Macbook

12” Macbook

tablet iPad

mini & kindle

COLOUR OPTIONS 21


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Travelling by bicycle never seems to get old. The first chain driven model was developed in 1885 and it really has not changed all that much. One of Wren’s first designs was the Bicycle by Aimee Lottering and to freshen it up a new colour has been introduced in both the Bicycle and City Bikes design. After all, there really is no need to fix something that is not broken.

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COLOUR OPTIONS

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SLEEVE FEATURES

• Recycled brown cement paper fused to cotton (outside) • Batting fused to brushed cotton (inside) • Hidden magnets • Secure press stud closure (on laptop sleeves) • Front pocket • Coated with Nano liquid glass

SIZE GUIDE 15” Macbook

tablet

13” Macbook 12.9 “ iPad Pro & 13” 2016 Macbook

12” Macbook

iPad mini & kindle

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SLEEVE FEATURES

• Recycled brown cement paper fused to cotton (outside) • Batting fused to brushed cotton (inside) • Hidden magnets • Secure press stud closure (on laptop sleeves) • Front pocket • Coated with Nano liquid glass

COLOUR OPTIONS


SIZE GUIDE 15” Macbook 13” Macbook 12.9 “ iPad Pro & 13” 2016 Macbook

12” Macbook

tablet mini & kindle

iPad

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10 Rhodesia Road, Muizenberg Cape Town, 7950 South Africa +27 83 947 2995 INFO@THEWRENDESIGN.COM

Wren Catalogue 2017  

New additions to the Wren range for 2017 include the Natural Cotton Backpack, Sling and Messenger, as well as new paper sleeve designs.

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