I picked up my friends’ old Converse to see if I could bring them back to life

New (old) shoes, who sells them?

Converse are real classics. They’ve been around forever and they suit everyone’s style. I remember proudly bringing my first pair of black All Stars high top shoes home from a back-to-school shopping trip with mum, but my dad remarked that he too wore ” sports boots ”(as they were once nicknamed) for school.

Not only is the style timeless and versatile, but they are durable sneakers that have a lot of life in them. So naturally everyone has at least a pair of beloved Chucks in their closet.


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To test this theory, the Fashion Journal team were asked to rummage through their closets and produce their damaged chucks to see if they could be relaunched in Converse’s new repair and customization space, Renew Fitzroy Laboratories.

As part of Converse’s continued mission to be more sustainable, Renew Labs Fitzroy encourages its customers to repair rather than replace by offering a range of cleaning, repairing and recycling services that will make your old shoes look like new.

From heels and laces that served as their dogs’ chew toys to pairs that had been worn to death on film sets, Team FJ’s dismal shoe group had definitely seen better days.

Some repairs were easier than others, with a few pairs looking perfectly clean after a good scrub and a new pair of laces, while others needed a drastic makeover.

Renew Labs Fitzroy offers two levels of cleaning services. There’s a quick clean which takes about ten minutes and costs just $ 10 and a deep clean which will set you back $ 25 and give you time to wander around Smith Street while you wait.

Renew Labs Fitzroy also replaces laces and eyelets and repairs cracked soles, “talking shoes” (where the sole separates from the rest of the shoe) and heel tabs. You can also personalize your shoes with patches, embroidery and dye work using planet-friendly vegetable dyes.

Depending on what you’re looking for, the customization process takes anywhere from five to 15 minutes, making it a pretty quick in and out experience.

Renew Labs Fitzroy also eliminates irreparable old shoes, ensuring they are recycled into products such as gym flooring through Walking Slightlythe national recycling initiative, rather than spending the next 1,000 years sitting in landfills. Fortunately, none of our shoes were that far.

After the Renew Labs Fitzroy team finished relaunching our shoe collection, we asked the entire Fashion Journal team to check the results and let me tell you, everyone was impressed.

Our account manager Ella Taverner’s yellow high top shoes looked a lot happier after being fitted with new black eyelets and matching laces and a few smiley face patches.

Our editorial assistant, Izzy Wight, also received some cute patches, adding a splash of color to her white All Stars with watermelon slices and some strawberries.

FJ’s digital editor Cait Emma Burke was treated to a custom dye job for her formerly White Cons, which is now a sleek and subtle indigo hue.

In addition to each going out with a whole new pair of shoes, Izzy’s partner got hold of some real new shoes after spotting a nice pair from Converse’s durable Renew line, which can also be found locally.

One of the most recent additions to the Renew line, the Chuck 70 knit styles he chose are made from recycled materials in an innovative reinvention of one of Converse’s classic styles. Basically they are both new and old.

So, the next time you are considering a new pair of sneakers knowing full well that you already have a bunch of perfectly good (if not a little worn) shoes in your closet, consider giving them a second life instead of buying brand new. .

Not only is it a better choice for the planet and your wallet, but you’ll end up with a unique pair of shoes that will feel a lot more special than something you simply took off a shelf.

Learn more about Converse Renew Labs Fitzroy here.

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About Shirley Dickson

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