The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Crater Creates Treasure from Trash
The next evolution of a 100-plus-year-old icon has arrived. Combining immutable design DNA with environmentally-conscious materials, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Crater hits earth as one of the most sustainable sneakers of all time.
Riding shotgun with Nike’s recent Space Hippie collection, the latest from the Converse Renew team adopts the Swoosh’s cosmic Crater Foam to again reinforce their ‘Move to Zero’ carbon commitment.
Made from at least 40 per cent recycled materials, the All Star Crater is already having a real impact on the sneaker industry.
Yes, sometimes trash really is treasure.
Waste Not, Want Cop
Bringing the Converse All Star Crater to life was no easy task. A team of more than 100 creatives developed the idea at the Converse Concept Creation Centre (C4) in Boston.
Described by Converse as 'perfectly imperfect', the Crater replaces the traditional canvas uppers with a 100 per cent recycled Morphlon blend (composed of 50 per cent recycled polyester and 50 per cent recycled post-industrial waste scraps).
‘With time, resources, and a little bit of innovation, we can make a shoe out of just about anything,’ says Brandon Avery, Converse Vice President of Innovation. ‘When you open the aperture a bit, you realise that the discarded materials around us are not waste at all – they’re the new source material for what we make next.’
Indeed, the Converse Renew team are making All Stars out of just about any material you could imagine. One of their breakthrough moments came in the form of a mail envelope (yes, you read that correctly).
‘We traced the pattern of a Chuck Taylor on this envelope,’ says Avery. ‘This became one of our most exciting prototypes. It really opened our minds to the possibilities. The Chuck canvas could be made out of literally anything!’
Converse continue to reinforce the central creed powering vintage shoppers across the globe: ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’
Salvaging everything from denim lifted from landfill to plastic bottles, the Converse Renew project launched with three distinct material designs – Renew Canvas, Renew Cotton and Renew Denim – all working to fuel the next evolution in sustainable sneakers. Our favourite Renew collaboration so far? The link-up with Carhartt utilising thousands of pre-loved canvas work jackets, trousers, and overalls!
Now, Converse are extending the interstellar vernacular of the Space Hippie for their latest design to hit earth: the head-turning Chuck Taylor All Star Crater.
Flight of the Space Hippie
Revisiting the aesthetic cues of Nike’s Space Hippie collection (already one of this year’s most impressive releases), the All Star Crater adopts the heritage sensibilities of Converse, while catapulting the silhouette into the 2020s.
Introducing Nike’s Space Hippie Crater Foam to the midsole was one of the central difficulties for the Converse C4 team. The Crater Foam expands differently to typical cushioning technology, and applying the foam to the Chuck Taylor All Star was challenging.
Morphlon proved successful, and managed to reassert the emotional resonance of traditional All Star uppers, while also giving the silhouette an important material overhaul.
‘Bringing innovation to scale is what we’re really good at,’ says Seana Hannah, Nike Vice President of Sustainable Innovation. ‘There’s no doubt designers can have a huge impact by reducing our total carbon footprint and the level of total waste we produce.’
The result of using the Crater technology in the All Star means that every sneaker features a unique blend of colour and texture – at first glance, the colour gradient recalls the futuristic Nike Mag worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II.
Composed of 12 per cent Nike Grind rubber (created from recycled surplus manufacturing materials), the result is such an incredibly lightweight cushioning system that’s literally reducing the carbon footprint of footwear manufacturing.
By drastically reducing their carbon footprint, the team behind the Converse Crater are (rather ironically) having a huge impact on sustainable footwear.
They remain committed to Nike’s Zero Waste initiative, a journey to zero carbon and zero waste. For Brandon Avery, a sneaker industry with zero waste is the ultimate goal, and one that has become more urgent than ever.
‘We won’t stop until we have zero waste,’ says Avery. ‘Every day, we’re going to come in and find new ways to innovate and move forward. How can we create a sneaker in new and sustainable ways? It’s going to be a journey for all of us.’
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Crater releases on July 23.
Keep updated on all things Converse Renew by creating your own SF profile. Simply click ‘Sign in’ on our menu and join the fam.