As the sneaker industry has swelled, sneaker cleaning brands have emerged. While there have always been products dedicated to cleaning footwear, newer lines have positioned their assortments as premium, lifestyle brands. Here are three sneaker cleaners attempting to elevate a utilitarian experience and extend the life of sneakers.
Jason Mark Angsuvarn founded Jason Markk in 2007 after noticing a void in the market for premium sneaker cleaning materials that weren’t made specifically for sneakers and sneaker heads. He also put sustainability top of mind. For example, the Essential Kit is 98.3 percent natural and completely biodegradable. His line is stocked in retailers ranging from Barneys New York to Urban Outfitters. In 2014, Angsuvarn opened a Los Angeles store with a drop-off cleaning service and recently opened a shop in London.
Jo Farah, who hails from South Africa, started Sneaker Lab in 2013. Making shoes wearable for a longer amount of time was a concern, but he also wanted to ensure that his products were environmentally friendly, which he felt would draw in Millennial consumers. The product range, which is water based, biodegradable and packaged in easy-to-recycle materials, is Green Tag certified. Sneaker Lab has locations in South Africa and downtown Los Angeles.
Created in 2012 by brothers Imran, Nohman and Riz Ahmed, Crep Protect has created a community with its sneaker cleaner. Jason Black, a former U.K. grime artist whose stage name is J2K, later joined and helped align the brand with popular artists. While Black is no longer involved with the day-to-day business, the line, which is named after “crep,” a slang term used in London to describe footwear, the cleaner continues to resonate within the creative community. It’s sold internationally in retailers such as Foot Locker, Zumiez and Nordstrom.