Chuck Taylor All Stars revolutionised basketball shoes when they first came out a little over 100 years ago, and now they’re out to change the shoe industry again. The Converse Renew Canvas shoes may look like the Chuck Taylor All Stars you’ve loved for years with their canvas uppers, rubber soles, and star-blazoned design, but these aren’t the shoes your grandpa wore on the court. These Renew Canvas shoes are made from 100 per cent recycled polyester that is made from used plastic bottles.
The fear with these canvas shoes will no doubt be that, like so many “made of recycled materials” products, they won’t feel or act the same, but Converse promises that you won’t notice a difference. “Touch it, feel it, wear it—we bet you won’t know the difference,” states the Converse web site, adding, “Except that you’ll look good—and feel good—knowing your giving waste a second life.”
The new shoes are a part of Converse’s new strategy of developing new and innovative manufacturing processes that are more sustainable. That initiative started with the new rPET yarn that was developed for the Chuck Taylor All Star and Chuck 70 shoes. The new yarn exactly mimics the properties of the cotton canvas that has long been used to make the famous shoes.
It’s not just the canvas that the Converse Renew initiative is taking aim at. The company is working on three different processes. The first is the Renew Canvas. Second is their Renew Denim, which uses in-house upcycling to divert jeans headed to landfills to be used instead for their shoes. The final process, Renew Cotton, uses cotton canvas waste combined with polyester to form a new yarn.
The Converse Renew Canvas shoes will be available starting in July at Converse stores and their online store. You can pick up the shoes in Moss Green, Ozone Blue, Wheat, Pale Putty, Black, and Jade Stone colours.