Converse, in collaboration with brand experience agency Amplify, has launched Renew Labs Fitzroy, an experimental retail experience that showcases creativity, co-creation, inclusive ideation towards a more sustainable future for the world.
This centre for self-expression will host intimate creative workshops, engaging consumers to customise their Chucks, with patches, embroidery and eco-friendly dyes, alongside opportunities to refresh with cleaning, repair, and renew services.
Centred around the Converse Renew product range and a business model that’s purpose is to extend the life of Converse products, Renew Labs will challenge the status quo. Building on the brand’s circular design principle that guides Renew products, ‘each shoe leads the next in reducing its impact on the planet’. When we break barriers of culture, style, and innovation, we construct new.
This experimental space embodies a shift in the way to think, plan, operate, and adapt to changes in retail. Converse All Stars, Converse’s global community of creatives that drive progress through grassroots initiatives, will play an ongoing and active part in the Renew Labs journey as we collectively test, and learn to create positive change.
Artists including Tamara Leacock, Joshua Space, Callum Preston, Precious Plastics and TreadLightly used their mediums to transform the store Renew Labs. As a purpose driven initiative, the opening in Fitzroy was a symbolic choice – a space to come together for environmental specialists, All Stars, and consumers to share in the same vision.
The new store utilises locally sourced materials that were upcycled, recycled, or repurposed. Joshua Space installed planters crafted from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste. Callum Preston channelled his understanding of youth culture and street art, to create a mix-medium feature wall that doubles as a display unit for Converse Renew products. Precious Plastics developed alternate machines and technologies for breaking down waste. Constructing the shoe shelves in Renew Labs has made a change to the way we display footwear.
Renew Labs will also act as a designated collection point for any pre-loved sports shoes that cannot be renewed, instead being recycled into products like gym flooring through TreadLightly’s initiative.
Collingwood based artist Tamara Leacock hosted the first Renew Lab workshop. Her brand R E M U S E Designs sits at the intersection between futurism and nature, Tamara channelling this to mentor Converse All Stars on ways to work low-impact dye techniques and other environmentally friendly customisation practices.
Says Tim Baggott, creative director at Amplify: “It has been a privilege to bring the world’s first permanent Renew Labs retail space to life with Converse. The store is built around the statement “There is always a way to renew what we do.”, an idea that resonates strongly with Amplify’s own sustainability efforts and is designed to be a perpetual work in progress, a space to be reconsidered, reworked and reimagined over time. We are excited and grateful to have the opportunity to continue this incredible journey with the team at Converse.”
Renew Labs Fitzroy is open now, with limited-edition customised Chuck 70s and an apparel collection that highlight Tamara’s custom indigo dye treatment, only available to purchase from the Fitzroy store alongside the full Converse Renew product offering.
For more information and store details visit www.converse.com.au/renew-labs-fitzroy.