Heritage and Background

1866

William Green begins making shoes in the loft above the Corn Merchants in Rushden, Northamptonshire. At this time shoemaking was done by hand in the houses of outworkers and William would hand out the work by visiting them individually on a daily basis.

1874

As his business grew, he needed to increase production, and machinery had just been introduced so he moved into his first "factory" at Green Yard. This was one of the first factories in the World to use the Goodyear Welted method of shoemaking.

1895

The business had grown enough to require bigger premises and their success was such that they could afford to build a state of the art new factory at the corner of Queen Street and Cromwell road. This is the factory that they left in 2013 to move to the current factory.

1901

William Green died and the left the business to his son, CAK Green.

Grenson Founder - William Green

1913

The business decided to move with the times by developing a "modern brand name" something that was just becoming fashionable. They took William Green and sons and shortened it to GRENSON, which became one of the first names ever to be registered in the UK.

1914-1918

Grenson serves its country by producing thousands of boots and shoes for the soldiers of The Great War.

1939-1945

Once again the company is called into action and makes many shoes and boots for the soldiers, not only of British forces but of the Allied Forces too. Among many styles it develops is a flying boot with a leg that zips off to make running easier in case of being shot down in enemy territory. At this point the factory employs nearly 500 people making shoes.

Grenson Original Factory - Quenn Street Rushden

1950

Hayden Green, the last surviving member of the Green family, visits America and sees the majority of men wearing soft, comfortable moccasins. He visits India where the best hand-stitching skills are found and begins to make a collection that gives the company a new lease of life during the post war depression.

1960-2005

Grenson creates many innovative products such as exotic skin shoes in the 60’s and 70’s, but eventually begins to decline due to the growing number of imports from the far east.

2005

Tim Little joins the company as Creative Director with a brief to revitalise the brand.

Grenson Staff - Hand Stitching Shoe Uppers

Grenson Original Factory - Landscape View

2008

The first ever Grenson shop is opened in Liverpool Street in London.

2010

Tim Little buys out the owners and opens a second store, in Hanbury Street, East London, and an e-commerce website.

2011

Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty agree to stock Grenson, kickstarting an expansion into the highest quality wholesale distribution in the world.
The first Grenson Womens collection is launched for over 30 years.

2012

An apprenticeship scheme is started to bring new blood into the factory.

2013

The factory moves for the first time since William Green moved into Queen Street in 1895. The new factory is modern, warm, clean and efficient, signalling its future as a modern business.
The Grenson:LAB programme is started where customers can customise their own shoes. It begins with a launch at Liberty in London.

2014

Two new stores are opened in Soho and Bloomsbury and the iconic "Triple Welt" is launched.

2015

The first ever overseas shop is secured in New York, with a launch date of January 2016.

2016

The 150th anniversary will be marked by a series of events and an "Archive Collection" of shoes that will be painstakingly reproduced from the originals. They will cover many decades of Grenson shoemaking.

Grenson Staff - Hand Making Shoes