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Converse has unveiled prototypes with natural glow-in-the dark paint and dye made from berries

WORDS BY CHRISTINA KARRAS

Reduce, reuse, renew.

Converse has released new iterations of its iconic All Star sneakers, aptly designed by its own team of All Stars – a group of multitalented creatives from across the globe. With the release of the e-Dye and Saucolours sneakers, Converse cements its reputation as an innovative and socially conscious fashion brand.

What makes the limited-edition shoes special is that the styles were created with low-waste techniques and sustainable materials as part of the brand’s Renew Labs virtual store, a store that’s located on the biggest collection of rubbish in the middle of the ocean.


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South African designer and All Star @samkeloboyde gives the Chuck Taylor silhouette a slick glow-in-the-dark makeover that’s a far cry from the (extremely) toxic neon glowsticks or paint that might jump to mind. Believe it or not, it was actually made with colours obtained from bacteria.

Amplifying the glowing or bioluminescent genes in E. coli bacteria gives the shoe its impressive natural paint that shines when the lights are out. But the toned-down colour palette and geometric design ensure it’s modern and wearable for day or night.

Nature also takes on a new form in the Saucolours release. Sambucus berries were used to make eco-friendly dyes. A single berry can create every colour of the rainbow, just by varying the acidity level. The unique method also minimises the water contamination and consumption needed to create a typical shoe.

Visual artist @pegge_ designed a hand-painted pattern that features a Basquiat-style crown on the muted and multi-colour Saucolours. These fresh drops are in addition to the formidable collection of environmentally-friendly shoes available to shop in the Converse Renew Labs store that sneakerheads can score by donating an amount of their choice to ocean non-for-profit, Take3.

Customers will then go in the running to score the one-of-a-kind prototypes. It’s all part of the Renew Labs initiative to help Converse remove one million pieces of rubbish from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

It’s also important to acknowledge the impact the fashion industry has on our environment, and the subsequent responsibility it holds to counteract that. Data from the United Nations Environment Programme reveals the fashion industry produces 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, while textile dyeing is the second-largest polluter of water worldwide.

Amongst a chorus of brands who are greenwashing in a poor attempt to keep up with consumer’s demands to do better, Converse sends a message that there’s always a way to renew what we do.

Find out more about the Converse Renew Labs and shop sneakers here.

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