CONVERSE RENEW: A SECOND LIFE
The Converse Renew project started in 2015 when Brandon Avery, head of Converse’s Innovation Lab, had the idea of creating unique Converse made with recycled garments of clothing. The initial concept was highly unique; to receive customers' baby blankets or other cherished garments to be turned into a-one-of-a-kind pair of Chucks.
After prototyping with staff members' garments, the team realized their original idea wouldn't work with a large brand like Converse. However, it eventually leads to the idea of making Chucks from other recycled/upcycled materials on an even larger scale, and thus, the Renew line was born!
We carry two of the three existing types of Renew Converse so far. The first one we will discuss, which encompasses the majority of the Renews we carry, have uppers that are made of polyester sourced from recycled plastic bottles.
These bottles are turned into a material Converse calls “Renew Canvas". It takes 11 plastic bottles on average to make one pair of recycled chucks. Not only that, but plastic bottles are also sourced from developing countries. This creates a cleaner environment and new job opportunities globally!
Converse decided to clean up their own actions as well as lending a hand to global clean-up. The second type of Renews we carry is made from salvaged canvas cut-offs from their very own factories. Canvas scraps are collected from the factories, shredded and processed. The cotton then gets mixed with new polyester and turned into a new yarn which is used to make the uppers of the shoes. The result is a unique new pattern & texture that doesn't require any additional dyes.
There are some other cool details that the entire collection includes. You may have noticed the Renew Converse have a unique speckled outsole; recycled regrind rubber is the reason behind this! To further reduce waste in the collection, Converse decided to reinforce all eyelets with stitching rather than their typical metal to reduce plastic and metal waste. They also opted to stitch or stamp their iconic circular Converse logo on, rather than use plastic. There is also the subtle reminder, “life is too short to waste” written on select styles.
There you have it! We are inspired by Converse's progressive thinking and are proud to offer this collection. We'll leave you with this: what can you do in your day-to-day life to reduce your own waste? What can be reused or recycled in a creative way?
Join us next week to hear about what we've been up to during this period of social distancing. We'd love to have you follow us in the meantime, check out our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to see what we're up to and strike up a conversation. Even though our storefront is temporarily closed, we'd still love to chat!