This August, Converse will release a new line of sustainable shoes made from discarded jeans. Dubbed Renew Denim, every pair will be unique because it’s been sourced from worn denim. But Renew Denim is only the first step in an roadmap for Converse to produce millions of Chuck Taylors and Chuck 70s out of upcycled textiles of all sorts. Yes, like Adidas , Everlane , and Native Shoes , Converse is going green—but it’s doing it in a very Converse way. Talk to any shoe company, and you’ll hear about the importance of technological innovation. Nike Air. Adidas Boost. Performance footwear is an ongoing arms race to create the next great lighter, faster thing. The same is true when it comes to more sustainable shoes; Adidas learned how to weave an entire running shoe out of only one material so it could be ground up and made into a new one. Native Shoes developed footwear built entirely out of biodegradable plant matter . But a little more than four years ago, a team of Converse execs gathered around a table to talk about another form of innovation—one they call emotional innovation. “How do you emotionally feel in the shoe?” […]

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