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Converse’s new range of eco-friendly and ultra-rare prototypes will help fund the removal of plastic trash in the ocean

WORDS BY CHRISTINA KARRAS

Shoes for a cause.

If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to shop while also making a tangible, positive impact on the environment, now’s your chance. 

Converse has dropped two new exclusive sneakers created by its talented team of All Stars, an international collective of creatives and activists. The limited-edition kicks have hit the shelves of one of its newest stores – but it’s not in the way you might think. 


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Like lots of things after last year, it’s all digital. Converse has set up a virtual 3D store on the largest expanse of rubbish in the ocean, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It sounds bizarre, but it’s a very real, very big collection of microplastics and litter trapped in the sea between the West Coast of North America and Japan. 

The brand tapped creatives from its community of All Stars to create eco-friendly and ultra-rare prototypes of its iconic sneakers, which are stocked within the virtual Renew Labs store. Each pair was made with sustainability in mind, and the sales will fund the removal of the plastic trash in the ocean that the very store (metaphorically) stands on. 

The collection features the Botanical Colors Converse, designed by writer, fashion stylist and Indonesian All Star, @dewisutrisno. The classic and crisp All Star silhouette has been reimagined with splashes of Indigo dye, reminiscent of the ocean or a watercolour painting. And it was created exclusively using natural pigments found in plants. 

Botanical extracts of deep blue indigo, rusty red madder root and ochre osage bark makes for rich colours that are both sustainable and non-toxic. Good for the environment, and good for you too. 

“Indigo is the shade to indulge in. Not too bright to put off the eye, yet it sways and is extremely impressive,” Dewi shared in an Instagram post of her wearing the shoe.

For the Origen edition, mangrove wood line and marigold flowers left over from Mexico’s Day of the Dead rituals were salvaged and repurposed as dyes.

Mexico-based artist @tierraytinta hand-dyed the sneaker with the earthy tones, using a toothbrush to add specks of magenta throughout the shoe. Rustic tie-dye techniques helped merge the subtle hues to create a dreamy two-toned colourway. 

The innovative shoes join the line-up of Converse’s existing Renew collection, featuring the lightweight All Star Crater Knit, made with at least 35 per cent recycled content in a newly engineered stretch-knit fabric. 

Other clever iterations of the All Star’s shoes are also already on offer in the Renew Labs virtual store, with more dropping in the coming weeks. But there’s limited stock and only a few weeks to help Converse shut down the store. The hope is that enough money will be donated to meet the goal of removing one million pieces of rubbish, so that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the virtual store, will cease to exist.

And there’s no set prices either. It’s a ‘choose your own’ donation initiative that puts you in the running to claim a pair of the unique shoes, with all the proceeds donated to ocean charity Take 3.

So really, it’s about much more than scoring a one-of-a-kind shoe. It’s a chance to be a part of this call to action. 

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

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