Sneaker production has changed dramatically in the last few years, introducing new, less harmful manufacturing methods in a widespread scale. This week, Converse introduced their next step in sustainability with the Renew project, debuting next week.

Sustainability in footwear has become a do-or-die goal for many brands in recent years, as more and more research points to shoes as the main offender of pollution in the fashion industry. Luckily, many high-profile brands have been stepping up, introducing new and exciting methods to reduce the use of new materials, particularly through recycling. This week, Converse has unveiled their Renew Initiative, which upcycles worn materials for brand new sneakers.

The Converse Renew Initiative is a massive step in the right direction for sustainable footwear. As of their announcement, the project will focus on both recycling & upcycling three different materials for their shoes; canvas, denim, and cotton. Launching first, the Renew Canvas combines recycled PET (a thermoplastic polymer) and recycled cotton, giving the canvas the same look and feel as the original, while being “100 percent recycled polyester that came from used plastic bottles.”

Next up on Converse’s release calendar for the Renew project is their upcycled denim sneakers. To create it, the brand is lifting used denim from landfills- yeah, landfills- and cleaning it, showcasing their ability to take trashed materials and make them production-ready. Finally, the Renew project is rounded out by Converse’s recycled cotton. This material is created from excess waste from standard cotton canvas production, and combined with polyester to create a new 40% recycled yarn.

Converse’s recently announced “Renew” project will begin its rollout on July 5th, 2019, with the release of the Chuck Taylor All-Star Renew Canvas, followed by the debut of the Renew Denim Chuck 70 later in August. The new upcycled silhouettes will be available in a variety of different colorways, and likely carry a slightly elevated retail price due to the cost of recycling used materials. Check out the official images below for a better look, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more Converse release news.

Words by Ben Serleth