A Simple Belt Made To Last

Belt Rolled Up

Thick Leather

We use leather from the shoulder of the cow which is the thickest and strongest part of the hide. We use 3.5mm - 5.0mm full grain veg tanned leather polished with a mixture of olive oil and beeswax.


Solid Brass Roller Buckle

We tried many different buckle manufacturers and suppliers to find a solid brass buckle that would last as long as our leather.


Strong Buckle Attachment

Most belt makers thin out the part of the leather where it's connected to the buckle. This is supposedly for comfort but a bigger reason is so that they can use a standard length screw. Thinning out the leather at the point where the most stress is concentrated doesn't make sense to us. So we didn't do it.


No Stitching

Stitching creates a weak link in a leather product. The friction will wear at the thread until it eventually breaks. We chose not to use any stitching and use metal riveting instead.



In 2014 I hitched a ride on an American marine biologist's boat and sailed to Madagascar. Because of wind, salt water and climbing up and down masts my belt didn't last very long.
Back in SA before leaving for another sailing trip I checked online and visited a few shops to find a simple, brown, leather belt that would last more than two weeks on a sailing trip. 
Belts were either flimsy and cheap or flimsy and expensive. None of them would last very long and then I would have to visit several malls and websites all over again. The slightly better belts would also break right when I'd worn them in and they'd start to be a bit more comfortable.
I was running out of time so decided to make it myself. I went to a few leather merchants and bought the thickest piece of leather I could find. This turned out to be the shoulder of the cow and later I was informed that many Italian shoemakers use this same cut of leather for making shoe soles.
With some help from friends I was able to make the first version of a simple belt. Not only did the belt outlast months of salt, sea and sailing, but to my surprise it became more comfortable and looked better with age.
After more travelling I was back in SA and in a fourball waiting to tee off when one of the other players
noticed my belt and asked where I got it from. After telling the story he and one of the other guys asked if I could make them belts as well. I explained that I wasn't really interested in making belts but that I had some material left so I would do it as a favour.
Shortly after that Father's Day came round and they asked if I could make some as gifts. At this point I was back in grown-up world doing full-time projects and had little time to spare. Fortunately I met Phillip Ngirazi who was selling ice cream at the time. I showed him the basics and he's been making belts and crafting leather products ever since.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are the belts available in different colours and widths?
A. Currently the belts are only available in dark brown and in 38mm/1.50" width. This helps us focus on making one great product instead of making many that are just okay.
Q. Do you make any other leather products - wallets, bags, etc.? Could you make a custom leather product for me?
A. We are relentlessly focused on making the best belt. We might roll out other products over time but only if we believe we can make it better than anyone else. We'll be happy to refer you to other suppliers.


Batch 1: Sold Out
Batch 2: Single pin - Sold Out; Double pin - 2 left
Batch 3: Single pin: 20 available


Single pin: R999
Double pin: R1,199


Measure one of your belts that fits comfortably from the most used hole to the center of the buckle.



There is a lifetime warranty on the belt. If there is a failure with the product while it's being used as a belt, please send it back and we will repair or replace it.


Shipping costs for up to R100 is included. Additional costs will apply for anything over R100.


The belts are made according to the provided measurements. We do not accept returns if incorrect measurements are given. We can at our own discretion decline a sale.


Contact Us

WhatsApp only please: +27 72 384 3208
Email: skipswanepoel@gmail.com

Excuse me ma'am, my eyes are up here

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