The spelling isn’t traditional, but the mission behind Comunity, a new sneaker brand based and made in downtown Los Angeles isn’t hard to parse.
Founded by footwear industry veterans with past experience from TOMS, Asics, Nike and Sanuk, co-founders Sean and Shannon Scott, and Ryan Gumienny launched a collection of sustainable, handcrafted athletic shoes that went on sale today on comunitymade.com.
Prices range from $160 to $185, with three styles available for men and women. For each shoe sold, the brand donates $10 to fund community projects in L.A. — with the consumer directing which organization to support from a list.
“We have to be more deliberate about what we buy — it’s difficult to buy something knowing the fact that people are exploited just to buy it,” co-founder Sean told Footwear News. “It’s going to cost more but last longer; We designed the shoes to be resoled more easily.”
The shoes incorporate one-piece uppers, which enhances conditions for comfort and eliminates extra material, Sean added.
“We’re conscious and wanted less waste, less stitching and less chances for irritation,” Shannon said. “The styling leads to a clean look, and for the consumer it’s a comfort story.”
Along with a direct-to-consumer e-retail model, Comunity will open doors on Aug. 9 at its headquarters located in downtown L.A.’s arts district, where the space will be utilized as part showroom, part office and part events venue that supports local organizations and initiatives.
“The inspiration was to be a hub for the community,” Shannon said. “It was from the heart.”
The front of the area will serve as a “living room” where consumers can try on shoes and put in requests for other services.
“We will have a cobbler day where you can come in and customize shoes and it will be made at our factory,” Sean said.
The back of the headquarters is brand’s business office; all furniture is on wheels and can be configured to accommodate special events.
“We designed it in mind for any given moment we can turn it into a workspace and have it be multi-use,” Sean added. “We will host our own events that deal with causes such as ending homelessness and the arts. The purpose is to get people involved in our main mission, and that has to be the catalyst for change and help build the community — it empowers people.”