Fourth Street's Convert Shoes, located down the street from the original clothing store, proves sustainable shoes aren't all bulky sandals and scratchy hemp. Owner Randy Brewer stocks the boutique with best-selling brands such as Melissa and Palladium, and his exclusive vegan line with Jeffrey Campbell sometimes sells out before the shoes have a chance to hit the shelves. But look closer at the displays throughout the store and its collection of Civic Duty shoes to experience new uses for a familiar material. San Francisco's John Lum Architecture transformed recycled cardboard into the boutique's sleek modern shelving, and Civic Duty's sneakers are made from the same Tvyek-reinforced paper used for FedEx envelopes. Other eye-pleasing sustainable elements include packing-peanuts window displays, secondhand furniture from The Alameda Point Antiques Faire, and Brewer's collaboration with J Shoes, which lets him use dead-stock fabric to create an exclusive line of sustainable shoes for the boutique. Even old footwear standby Dr. Martens has jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon with its canvas Shoreditch boot. Time to ditch those frumpy Tevas and show your feet, and the environment, some love.
© 2018 East Bay Express