01.12.21FeaturesChuck TaylorSponsored
ARTICLE BY Sneaker Freaker

Breathe New Life Into Your Beaters: Converse Renew Labs Launches in Fitzroy

Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy

Have your beloved old beaters seen better days? Converse have blasted open the doors to Renew Labs Fitzroy – a retail outpost which also gives you the opportunity to completely revamp or recycle your legendary Chucks.

A stone’s throw from Sneaker Freaker HQ, the brand new experiential space is located in one of the heartlands for sneaker culture Down Under. Still, you can’t grow a subculture without pounding a few soles! So loosen your laces and step inside the laboratory!

Converse-Renew-Labs Fitzroy
Converse Renew Labs
Converse-Renew-Labs Fitzroy,
Converse-Renew-Labs Fitzroy
Converse Renew Labs laces
Converse-Renew-Labs Fitzroy
Converse-Renew-Labs Fitzroy
Converse-Renew-Labs Fitzroy

Rejuvenate Your Chucks: Cleaning and Customisation

Fear not, there’s no lab coats or safety glasses at Renew Labs Fitzroy. Fundamental to Converse's eco-conscious mission, the lab is a place to rejuvenate and even customise your Chucks, meaning that you can swing by for a quick clean, a repair or to even upgrade their very structure.

If you’re looking for some extra durability for temperamental weather, restoration to heel lining and insoles is all on the menu, providing an extra burst of utility for your worn-in grails. Of course, if you simply need a clean to get your Chucks feeling brand spanking new, the team are more than happy to give them a deep scrub!

For those keen on customisation, there's numerous options to add personality, no matter what your style is. Unique laces, eyelets, sustainable dye options and embroidery will get you feeling like a DIY virtuoso, and the expert staff can assist you with your eclectic requests to help you make something totally bespoke.

Powered by Renew: Tread Lightly

Bolstered by the ever-expanding Renew catalogue – the lynchpin in Converse’s mission towards a more sustainable future – the Renew models are the brand's most eco-conscious sneakers ever. Including the Recycled Canvas, Remix Knit, Crater Knit and Indigo Dyed, all of these silhouettes are available to buy.

Emphasising the brand’s circular design principles, the line comprises materials like up-cycled denim lifted from landfill, repurposed canvas waste, and 100 per cent recycled polyester among many other things. Did you know, the team at Converse even made a Chuck Taylor from an envelope?

Art vs Science: The Studio

The Renew Labs Fitzroy operation has brought together a stellar team to help build the communal space. Sewing machines hum sneaker reparation and piles of Chuck 70s peacock in bold 1990s-style patches and DIY customisation.

Callum Preston – member of street art collective Everfresh – has utilised old Melbourne Grand Prix hoarding from the 1990s to create a huge yellow Star Chevron. The team have also installed numerous workbenches to provide extensive cleaning and customisation options. On the shelves, the Converse Renew models add a burst of colour, while sewing machines, skateboards, basketball rings and spray cans of yesteryear are reincarnated by the talented local artists.


Workshop ‘Til You Drop

Converse have tapped local circuit-breakers like Tamara Leacock, Callum Preston, Precious Plastic Melbourne and TreadLightly to radically transform the Renew Labs Fitzroy space, with a number of these creatives set to run workshops.

In addition to Preston's hero Star Chevron, he's also busted out the spray cans to create a mixed medium wall that doubles as a display unit for Converse Renew products.

Collingwood-based artist Tamara Leacock's REMUSE Designs imprint will be mentoring future creatives on ways to work with low-impact dye techniques and other sustainable customisation options.

Melbourne artist Joshua Space has also installed planters crafted from 100 per cent recycled post-consumer plastic waste, while Precious Plastics again reinforced the idea of a circular plastic economy by developing alternate machines and technologies for breaking down waste.

Got some Cons that are passed breaking point? You can make use of the designated collection point for any pre-loved sports shoes. The TreadLightly initiative will ensure that your donated sneakers will be recycled into socially beneficial products like gym flooring.

Meet the All Stars

Through the forward-thinking Create Next program which is key to the Renew Labs Fitzroy operations, local members have been tapped in as the All Stars. They’ll be testing, learning and experimenting alongside the community to enforce constructive environmental habits and eco-conscious footwear consumption.

Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy
Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy
Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy
Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy
Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy

So, When Can You Go?

Renew Labs Fitzroy opened its doors on November 29 with limited-edition customised Chuck 70s and an apparel collection that highlights Tamara Leacock’s custom indigo dye treatment, which is available only at the Fitzroy store. You can head over from 10am-5:30pm daily and is located on 397 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.

To learn more, head to the Renew Labs website!

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