Classic sneaker brand Converse is going green, and not in the way you might expect.
Through its Converse City Forests campaign, launched in 2020, the footwear brand is sponsoring artists to create environmentally-friendly murals in cities around the world, including Bangkok.
The murals use Graphenstone’s Ecosphere paint, an odorless, graphene-laced and lime-based product that is said to improve air quality. The project “plants trees where trees don’t grow” in concrete cityscapes, according to Converse, as this special paint is said to absorb pollutants just like trees do.
Beyond the environmental impact, the campaign also pushes for progressive action. The artists Converse is working with are able to use their platform to speak about diversity, equality, environmental rights, and more through their art.
Thai artists Teerayut Puechpen (TRK) and Sorravis Prakong working on their smog-eating mural in 2020, courtesy of Converse
In Bangkok, you’ll find murals up on walls in a couple of areas. This time last year, Converse sponsored Thai artists Teerayut Puechpen (TRK) and Sorravis Prakong to produce a mural in Ratchathewi. Their work is said to have had the same environmental impact as planting 150 trees, courtesy of the smog-consuming paint.
Now, up-and-coming artists Chanaradee Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, aka Juli Baker and Summer, and former boy band member, LGBTQ+ activist, and artist Pataradanai “Koen” Setsuwan have added some eco-friendly color to Ari.
Located across from Gump’s Ari, their colorful mural is a celebration of diversity and equality, a mechanism to spark conversations on topics like gender diversity and freedom of expression.
Globally, Converse has reached cities as farflung as Lima as well as places closer to home like Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. The campaign claims to have planted the equivalent of 7,121 trees so far.