Sustainable footwear brand, Lane Eight has set its sights on disrupting the fitness sneaker market. Although only set up four years ago, it’s already made great strides in delivering responsibly-made performance sneakers for consumers.
Set-up in the summer of 2017 by brothers, James and Josh Shorrock, the brand is focused on catering to the everyday athlete. Its range of versatile, vegan performance footwear has struck a chord with many owing to its many positive attributes.
Not only does the footwear offer a good-looking design but it also boasts a stable base with a supportive fit. Taking it a step further, the brand adopts a sustainable model, with each footwear made with durable, natural, and recycled materials.
This year, Lane Eight is setting its sights on expanding its footprint. Bringing its range of sustainable footwear to consumers across the world. Since its launch in Hong Kong and the U.S., the brand has shipped over 10,000 pairs of its sustainable shoes to happy customers.
Now, the brand is setting its sights on the rest of the world starting with Southeast Asia. We speak to James and Josh Shorrock to find out more about Lane Eight’s focus and plans for the future.
Walk us back to the beginning – what served as the inspiration behind creating Lane Eight?
Growing up we always played a variety of sports year round and that need to stay active has always resonated with us. We do a variety of sports and workouts, for each of which, we would wear a different pair of shoes. That meant there would be some days where we’d be wearing 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 can we take elements from all those different products to create a truly versatile performance shoe, one that’s not siloed within a specific category.
How long did it take developing the first pair of shoes?
From the initial concept to brand and product launch it took us about a year and half. With Josh’s three and a half years of work experience in the footwear development division of Adidas, it definitely helped speed up the process.
What were the considerations when you were developing the first prototype?
The focus from the beginning was on versatility. We needed 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 needed to be designed in a way that would allow it to seamlessly fit in any casual setting. Once we knew the product worked and that there was actually demand, then we started to look at how we could replace existing materials for more sustainable options. For example switching from virgin to recycled polyester.
Can a sustainable brand like Lane Eight be sustainable from a business sense, in terms of profitability that is?
Absolutely. There seems to be this notion that it’s more difficult for companies with a sustainable mission to become sustainable as a business, possibly due to higher cost of raw materials. However, we’re confident that consumers’ shopping habits will continue to trend in the direction of more and more sustainable consumption. We have a few projects underway to ensure that we will be right at the forefront of this shift in our industry.
Were you surprised with the response of the shoes?
We were always confident that the product would perform as intended, but it’s still a big question mark as to how any new product will be received. Thankfully, the response was very positive. Now we’re focused on ensuring that we continue to create excitement around the brand through new product launches and campaigns.
Lane Eight is now looking to expand in Southeast Asia. Why now?
We have been looking to expand into new markets for some time now, however COVID has of course posed a massive challenge. So when assessing new potential markets, we decided to focus on markets closer to home. Singapore was immediately seen as a market not too different to HK, where we could enter with a similar go-to-market strategy. Singapore could then act as a steppingstone into greater Southeast Asia as we continue to build awareness in the region.
Is the brand looking to expand its offerings, perhaps with more shoes or even apparel?
We’re always looking ahead at how we can add to the range while sticking to our values and focus on versatile performance. With just one product, the Trainer AD 1, we still have some way to go before solidifying Lane Eights as the go-to workout shoes. We’re currently working on building our footwear offering with this goal in mind, which you should see in the not too distant future.
Discover Lane Eight’s range of sustainable footwear here.
(Images: Lane Eight)