Discover the history of the sustainable footwear brand Lane Eight
A sustainable footwear brand, Lane Eight aims to disrupt the fitness sneaker market. Although created just four years ago, it has already made great strides in providing responsibly designed performance sneakers for consumers.
Founded in the summer of 2017 by brothers James and Josh Shorrock, the brand focuses on catering to the everyday athlete. Its line of versatile vegan performance footwear struck a chord with its many positive attributes.
Not only do the shoes offer a beautiful design, but they also have a stable base with a perfect fit. To go further, the brand adopts a sustainable model, each shoe being made with sustainable, natural and recycled materials.
This year, Lane Eight aims to expand its footprint. Bring its line of sustainable footwear to consumers around the world. Since its launch in Hong Kong and the United States, the brand has shipped more than 10,000 pairs of its durable shoes to satisfied customers.
From now on, the brand is setting its sights on the rest of the world, starting with Southeast Asia. We chat with James and Josh Shorrock to learn more about Lane Eight’s goal and plans for the future.
Go back to the beginning – what inspired the creation of Lane Eight?
Growing up, we have always played a variety of sports throughout the year and this need to stay active has always resonated with us. We do a variety of sports and workouts, each of which we would wear a different pair of shoes. This meant that there would be days when we would wear three to four different pairs – a running shoe, a cross-training shoe, a basketball shoe, a casual lifestyle shoe, etc. The thought then was, how do we take elements from all of these different products to create a truly versatile performance shoe, which is not categorized into a specific category.
How long did it take to develop the first pair of shoes?
From the initial concept to launching the brand and product, it took us about a year and a half. With Josh’s three and a half years of experience working in the shoe development division of Adidas, it certainly helped speed up the process.
What were the considerations when you developed the first prototype?
From the start, the emphasis was on versatility. We had to make sure that the product itself would excel in any workout, whether in the gym or outdoors. But, at the same time, the shoe had to be designed in such a way that it would fit perfectly into any casual setting. Once we knew the product was working and there really was a demand, we then began to look at how we could replace existing materials with more sustainable options. For example, switching from virgin polyester to recycled polyester.
Can a sustainable brand like Lane Eight be commercially sustainable, in terms of profitability?
Absoutely. There seems to be this notion that it is more difficult for companies with a sustainable mission to become sustainable as a business, perhaps due to the higher cost of raw materials. However, we are convinced that consumers’ purchasing habits will continue to shift towards increasingly sustainable consumption. We have a few projects underway to ensure that we will be at the forefront of this change in our industry.
Were you surprised at the response of the shoes?
We’ve always been confident that the product will perform as expected, but it’s always a big question mark as to how any new product will be received. Fortunately, the response has been very positive. Now, we strive to continue to generate excitement around the brand through new product launches and campaigns.
Lane Eight is now looking to expand into South East Asia. Why now?
We’ve been looking to expand into new markets for some time now, but COVID has of course posed a huge challenge. So, when evaluating potential new markets, we decided to focus on the markets closest to us. Singapore was immediately seen as a not too different market from Hong Kong, where we could enter with a similar go-to-market strategy. Singapore could then serve as a springboard to greater South East Asia as we continue to raise awareness in the region.
Is the brand looking to expand its offering, perhaps with more shoes or even clothing?
We are always looking to enrich the range while respecting our values and focusing on versatile performance. With just one product, the Trainer AD 1, we still have a way to go before we solidify the Lane Eights as must-have training shoes. We are currently working on building our footwear offering with this goal in mind, which you should see in the not too distant future.
Explore Lane Eight’s range of sustainable footwear here.
(Images: track eight)