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Why Sneaker LAB Are ‘The Future of Sneaker Care’

Sneaker LAB

Sneaker LAB’s ecologically elevated process has delivered innovative cleaning and care products for over ten years. More and more sneakerheads worldwide are embracing the brand’s ‘Clean. Care. Protect.’ ethos, showing the unifying power of conscious consumption. Now, with a decade of experience under their belt, here’s how the next few years and the power of collaboration will make way for ‘the future of sneaker care.’

From South Africa to the World

Farah’s first big break came when South African retailer sportscene ordered 500 units of Sneaker LAB products. A leap of faith for both parties without knowing if there’d be demand for it!

‘I will never forget the first order. I remember packing it in the office – just myself and the designer working together,’ says Farah.

The risk paid off: Sneaker LAB’s first order landed at 25 sportscene locations on a Friday and was sold out by the following Monday.

From there, everything snowballed – Sneaker LAB became an international brand. As well as a webstore known for exclusives and special collaborations, they boast a global network of brick-and-mortar stockists across 60 countries. And earlier this year, they announced a major partnership with  New Balance to stock Sneaker LAB in their stores across the Asia Pacific. The Sneaker Laundry at New Balance Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan, is now a premier shoe-care destination.

The next step sees the brand growing in Europe via Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and a Nike deal will have more Sneaker LAB products in more stores throughout the EMEA region.

Beyond the LAB

Sneaker LAB have also extended their environmental and social responsibility beyond their products. Their ongoing partnership with the Peninsula School Feeding Association continues to feed thousands of South African school children every day. And since 2018, joint projects with the environmental organisation WeForest have made way for local agricultural initiatives, from tree planting to beekeeping mentorship that encourages alternative farming practices! It’s all part of Farah and the brand’s first and foremost commitment to South Africa and its communities.

On top of their admirable sustainability initiatives, the brand is also celebrating women and diversity in the sneaker and street culture scene to back another key value: ‘The Future is Female.’ To do this, Sneaker LAB put female creatives and sneakerheads front and centre of their marketing communications and social media channels. They’ve also supported female-specific events like SNEAK-HER in India and the Kicks ‘R’ Us art show in New York.

‘“The Future is Female” is an important pillar for us because, as a brand, we have a big audience and platform to speak about this message,’ says Kraak.

What’s Growing in the LAB

The power of collaboration will take Sneaker LAB to the next level without a doubt. Linkups across the sneaker- and street-culture sphere have included major names like PUMA FILA and  Reebok, while efforts with Raised By Wolves and Eytys speak to niche subcultures within the scene. Axel Arigato x Sneaker LAB is the latest colab, delivering custom-packaged Sneaker Wipes and Premium Cleaning Kits exclusive to Axel Arigato doors and their webstore. And there’s more to come from the ongoing partnership. Regular artist linkups have also strengthened Sneaker LAB’s presence beyond just shoe cleaning.

Speaking of, another of Sneaker LAB’s continuing projects is a growing library of shoe-care guides for popular models. It’s becoming one of the most comprehensive resources on the internet! Want to freshen up your Yeezys but don’t know how? Do your NB 990s need a jump start on cleanliness? Sneaker LAB have the answer.

Of course, this all taps into the fact that Sneaker LAB are continually developing market-leading shoe care products that are friendlier for your kicks and the environment. Keen to learn even more? Check out their website!

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