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Grandt Mason - Designing with sustainability in mind

Friday, 06 October 2017   (0 Comments)
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Our Product Support Co-ordinator David van Staden was recently invited to attend a special workshop for Sustainable Footwear Design and Production hosted by Grandt Mason, South Africa's first eco-footwear brand.

Grandt Mason is a dynamic Cape Town based industrial designer with a passion for footwear. Grandt has spent the last 15 years developing his brand – Grandt Mason, a footwear label renowned for pioneering sustainable production processes alongside impeccable quality.


The workshop was organised as part of the Open Design Cape Town festival and participants learnt about basic design, component development and the processes involved in footwear manufacturing. The techniques covered included basic pattern making, material selection and utilisation, and basic component construction and application.


According to David, the workshop was very valuable and provided insight and a working knowledge about the making of handcrafted shoes.

“What I found inspirational is the holistic manner in which product development is conceived at Grandt Mason, viewing design as an iterative process which informs the development of a sustainable product. It’s really provided an additional level of expertise and knowledge that will be beneficial to CDI members, particularly those in the apparel industry.”


He adds that it’s important for all designers to take sustainability seriously. “Apart from the obvious environmental concerns, having an approach to product development that puts sustainability as an equal and necessary component provides the consumer with the assurance of a quality product that promotes longevity, wellbeing and devoid of compromise,” he says.


Globally there has been increasing attention to sustainabity in design, including in fashion. Media house Huffington Post recently proclaimed “Sustainable Fashion is the Next Fashionable Thing” in a feature this September, saying: “There is no doubt the way we produce and consume fashion has dramatically changed despite the fact that this industry has some tough history to reconcile. We are finally witnessing signs of consumer interest in sustainable fashion, which apparel corporations are responding to.”

It points out that recently Marie Claire, the major fashion magazine, published
its first ever sustainability issue which is “a great step forward as historically, fashion magazines stay away from such issues”. A recent UK feature in The Guardian asked “Will Gen Z help the fashion industry clean up its act?” indicating younger customers are more conscious and want to know more about where their products are coming from.

In Europe this month, the Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI) launched a free online platform created to empower clothing designers and product developers to produce clothes more sustainably; helping to cut out waste in fashion and to extend the life of clothes. The online platform – Design for Longevity – has been produced in association with leading European fashion councils and universities, and in consultation with practitioners from across the fashion sector.

David says that through its role in the craft and design sector in South Africa, and the sharing of knowledge locally, the CDI can assist designers to develop or refine products that are good for both people and planet.

The CDI Product Prototyping facility and its activities assist participants to either refine existing product or develop new product with the aim of stimulating the originality, diversity and quality of creative product within the market.


For more on Grandt Mason, visit:

Click here for a list of upcoming CDI workshops to help you either refine existing product or develop new product:

Contact David:

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