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Vegan Style Grandt Mason: Upcycled Vegan Shoes, Ethically Made in South Africa

Grandt Mason Originals vary in style for men and women from boots and ballet flats to sandals and lace-ups

By Kasey Lum - Source:

Photo © Grandt Mason Originals

Photo © Grandt Mason Originals

On the cutting edge of vegan footwear, South African atelier, Grandt Mason Originals produces sustainable, unique, handmade designs that promote locally sourced and recycled materials. Each shoe is designed on-site at the Cape Town factory with simple, leftover materials recycled from South Africa’s leading upholstery distributors. Grandt Mason Originals strives to produce one-of-a-kind vegan shoes focusing on quality, comfort and durability while promoting sustainability and reestablishing the role of true, quality craftsmanship. Simple, durable, and colorful, Grandt Mason Originals plays along the lines of traditional shoe patterns mixed with local South African flare. Not only are these designs sustainable, they also serve to highlight the skills and craftsmen specialized in producing these shoes.
Photo © Grandt Mason Originals

Photo © Grandt Mason Originals

“Our footwear promotes the idea of the cobbler and the artisan [by] having a shoe custom-made to one’s individual taste and preserving the life-span of the shoe for years to come,” Grandt Mason, the company’s founder tells Ecouterre. “We promote the shoe repairer and, by using sheet rubber soles, enable our shoes to be easily re-soled as opposed to using bucket components which have a set life-span and are very difficult to re-sole. We also offer a two year world-wide guarantee on all of our footwear. It sounds cliche but our shoes are made with a lot of love.”

As a vegan, Mason had trouble finding decent ethical, leather-free footwear for himself. While studying product design and seeing a lack of sustainable and vegan footwear on the market, Mason used his design knowledge to teach himself the basics of footwear styling, design, and production. With no formal training and only his passion to guide him, Mason began to produce one of kind, customized, handmade footwear that quickly became the talk of Cape Town. With the exceptional talent of 4 local shoe craftsmen and Mason’s sister, Kate, Grandt Mason Originals features a unique line of vegan, machine washable, leather-free handmade shoes for women and men produced locally and using resident talent in South Africa.

Drawing from daily inspiration and whatever catches his creativity, Mason meticulously designs a proto-type for every shoe pattern, which then transitions from its 2D to 3D form and is manufactured and produced in-house at the Cape Town factory.
“I sketch the design of the shoe taking various things into consideration like the shape of the foot, where the toes lie, etc, ensuring the shoe does not cause discomfort. When this process is complete, I cut the shapes off and transfer the information to create patterns, which can then be placed down on just any material to create footwear.”

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