KX Lab

Relocation: the practice of transferring a business activity that has been moved overseas to the country from which it was originally relocated

Sneaker media is weighed down by the constant releases of Nike and big name brands. Sneaker culture is driven by Jordans and Yeezy. On this site, there are more than 1300 sneaker videos. Majority of them are Nike and Jordan sneakers as I also run a sneaker e-commerce site and almost every sneaker sold since 2018 I created a video for the shoe. That doesn’t mean my personal sneaker rotation is dominated by the big brands. My sneaker rotation right now consists of 20 different pairs. Styles range from Zen Running Club, Brandblack and Red Ball Jets to 99Products, NOBULL and 3 different pairs of COMUNITYmade sneakers.

Sneaker diversity is not a famous aspect of mainstream sneaker culture. If you’re not wearing the latest pair of sneakers, your Twitter or IG feed isn’t as active. Addressing issues like sustainability in the community is like talking to a room of people responding to a notification from the SNKRS app. I start this post explaining it this way because I have what you might call “sneaker guilt”. I am fully aware that my business needs more sneakers to sell. I am also aware of the carbon footprint of a company like Nike and other big brands. I realize that sneakers generate a considerable amount of CO2 when these kicks end up in landfills. It’s one of the reasons I started working with a company like Sneaker Impact to help people recycle their sneakers. I’m a big fan of COMUNITYmade because the brand makes me feel better about my industry.

I started this post with a definition. For years I searched for terms to explain my COMUNITYmade kicks when people asked me about them. It didn’t happen often. When they do, my typical response has been to show them my gold stamp on my custom Tractions or Westsiders and proudly say, “These were handcrafted in Los Angeles by a brand called COMUNITYmade.” I would then feel compelled to explain that the prices on the site were higher than typical sneakers.

In the video above for COMUNITYmade’s first knit sneaker, made in partnership with KX Lab, I finally have the terminology to explain why COMUNITYmade is one of the premier sneaker companies in the world. I also have the term to explain cost, Appropriate Labor Costs (ALC). As powerful as Nike is in sneaker culture, the company is one of the reasons the majority of sneaker manufacturing jobs exist outside of the United States. The foundation of Nike is the basis of sneaker offshoring and cost reduction. Inexpensive labor creates the sneakers that culture celebrates. The irony is that sneakerheads will pay over $200 for fashionable sneakers without blinking an eye, but balk at sneakers constructed with ALC. My inability to quickly explain why this new sneaker is culturally significant was resolved with this video.


While some will watch this and click on the links and pause, I watch this video and feel proud. I can celebrate that innovation and manufacturing happen in my backyard. The COMUNITYmade Molino x KX Lab is revolutionary. The process opens up the brand to something I didn’t think possible for the company, expanding into performance products. Looking at the photos here, the weave of this sneaker appears to have reinforced areas and Noah, Product Manager at COMUNITYmade, explains that the shoe is made with handcrafted leather detailing. If COMUNITYmade is able to generate an athletic outsole with this upper, it could mean that a performance option may be coming soon from the company. From now on, I’m going to celebrate and lessen my “sneaker guilt” by buying a pair. Be on the lookout for an unboxing. Visit COMMUNITYmade.