Converse Renew Collection

Converse Renew Tri Panel Denim - Three in the 6


Converse recently released a new addition to its Renew collection, and in doing so demonstrated that the company is moving forward with its upcycling program.

Upcycling is a positive trend and a move toward sustainability in sneaker manufacturing. The Converse approach to upcycling was to partner with the British company Beyond Retro, a vintage clothing retailer that sorts through over a million pairs of jeans a month in search of those that still have life left in them.

As with Converse’s first Renew sneaker, the new Tri Panel Denim is made from old blue jeans, but the twist this time is to mix up the source materials to create a multi-coloured Chuck 70.

To achieve this, the old denim is sorted into three distinct washes (colours): light blue, dark blue, and black. The hand-selected denim is then butterfly-cut before being die-cut into the individual panels that make up the Chuck Taylor profile.

It’s not just the upper that is produced as part of this renewable resource program. Its lining and the shoe’s laces are both made using recycled polyester.

The end result is somewhat misleading. These shoes look like they were made from new denim, and we predict that future models in the Renew collection will be made from used denim that displays distinctive signs of wear and tear, perhaps even stains.

Converse claims the Renew shoes are lightweight, yet durable. And because the source material is unique, no two pairs from this collection are identical.

The one consistency is how the various denim colours are used: darker denims are earmarked for medial panels, lighter denims for the tongue, and lateral panels are exclusively made from black denims.

Of course most sneaker buyers will only care that their shoes are cool, which they certainly are, but it’s worth supporting initiatives such as this in the hope that they become the standard instead of just being a small fraction of the manufacturing process.