Interviewing Josh and James, who founded Lane Eight as 2 brothers growing up in the footwear industry
What’s your story, and what pulled — or pushed you — to Lane Eight?
James: we are two brothers who grew up in the footwear industry. After spending several years working in the industry ourselves, we felt we could things differently and better.
Favourite Lane Eight shoe colour?
James: Electric Neon. Josh: Cloud white.
…and a colour you want to see next?
We’re working on new colours all the time. That being said, we are exploring the use of natural dyes for footwear.
Now that gyms aren’t an option, how have you changed your workout style?
We’ve been spending a lot more time working out outside, which has been a nice change aside from the heat and humidity?
Some advice for someone feeling unmotivated out there:
Get out and explore. There’s never been a better time to get to know the places we inhabit a bit better. Whether’s a hike outdoors or exploring a new neighbourhood, we find it inspiring seeing familiar places in a new light.
I can’t help but notice that the concept of Lane Eight’s footwear brand is fresh, but minimal. Are there plans to release more varied products, or are you preaching a ‘one-shoe-to-fit-all-workouts’ philosophy?
We are completely focused on building the world’s best workout shoes! Eventually we’ll branch into more products, but for now we’re staying focused.
How does Hong Kong fit into Lane Eight’s growth as a brand?
Hong Kong is our home, and we will continue to maintain a presence here. Eventually we’ll branch into more products, but for now we’re staying focused.
The decision to design a fully-sustainable and environmentally friendly shoe is pretty incredible. It’s a move that radicalises the industry — fashion and footwear is known to be the 2nd most wasteful in the world — how was that journey?
To clarify, our shoes are not fully sustainable. At the moment, a fully-sustainable shoe simply doesn’t exist. However, we are working towards a fully-sustainable future for our business. As a startup, we’re taking baby steps, and it certainly makes things more difficult and expensive choosing eco-friendly and sustainable materials, but the way we see it, there is no other choice. And it’s not just our products, we’re looking at ways to minimise, and eventually eliminate pollution and waste across our entire business.
“More than just a workout shoe.” What does ‘more’ mean to Lane Eight?
At LANE EIGHT, we recognise that fitness and working out are just one aspect of our customer’s lives, and wanted to make shoes that could speak to the rest of their lives, and not purely their gym life.
At RAZE, we’re ‘more’ than household hygiene and a professional cleaning service. We’re making the shift to automating cleaning technology — if you could automate one thing about Lane Eight, what would that be?
We’d love to automate our picking, packing and shipping of inventory for our online orders.
What kind of message do you want to send to your customers or potential customers that may not workout, but are interested in your products?
Even if you don’t workout, you’re likely on your feet a lot. You deserve some comfortable, stable shoes. That’s where LANE EIGHT comes in.
How has the pandemic affected Lane Eight? What kind of changes have you brought about for resiliency?
From the very beginning, we have invested heavily in our digital infrastructure, and so we were well-placed to take advantage towards of the shift towards online shopping that we’ve seen during COVID. At the same time, our retail space is fairly compact, so we’ve been able to better manage occupants and safe concerns during this time.
We really appreciate that Lane Eight has taken a chance on RAZE with store hygiene. How do you feel about our service? How has this benefitted you?
It’s great to know that our store surfaces have been treated with RAZE, which automatically cleans itself, so we can spend less time on cleaning, and more time attending to our customers and community!