Toronto DJ launches plant-based shoe company after gigs paused during pandemic

Sep 16 2021, 6:58 pm

After seeing his gigs put on hold because of the pandemic, a Toronto-based DJ with a background in research decided to take a step in a new direction and launch an eco-friendly shoe cleaning kit.

Amir Alam tells Daily Hive he had already been thinking about an “exit strategy” and was preparing to launch Shoe Laundry for two years before the pandemic hit.

“Anyone who’s made a go at DJing as a career can attest that it is not for the faint of heart, especially with COVID.”

During his time touring, Alam said he was surrounded by music and culture, which led him to the sneaker community.

“It was only a matter of time before Shoe Laundry would launch, and it happened to line up with a freed-up schedule,” Alam said. “I’ve always wanted to establish something new that could be enjoyed by the Toronto community.”

The Shoe Laundry kit comes with a bamboo brush, plant-based foam cleaner, washable microfibre cloth, and eco-friendly packaging. Alam said it “cleans sneakers better than anything else on the market.”

Knowing how much “sneakerheads” treasure their kicks, Alam said he wanted to make sure he created a “streamlined experience for the consumer so they have everything they need to quickly and easily make their shoes look brand new.”


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Alam said it was also important for him to make sure the company was green and impact-conscious, and that it’s crucial to understand how our actions impact Earth, because our natural resources are being strained today.

“We need to make conscious choices, both as consumers but also as businesses,” Alam said. “The shoe industry is second to the fashion industry in terms of waste production, so every time we help to extend the life of a pair of shoes, one less pair ends up in a landfill.”


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Looking at the final product, Alam said he’s proud of how it’s worked for customers and to see how it’s grown naturally, such as through word of mouth, “evolving to places I never dreamed.”

“It’s motivating to watch Shoe Laundry enter a competitive market and be welcomed and celebrated by highly discerning consumers, like ‘sneakerheads,'” Alam said. “It feels great and we’re excited to continue delivering quality products.”

You can buy the Shoe Laundry kit online and, if you live in Toronto, at Makeway at Stackt Market.

Michelle MortonMichelle Morton

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