Sustainable sneaker brand Veja has become a symbol of social responsibility.
The story started in 2005 when two Parisian friends Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion set about to change the way sneakers are designed and produced.
From Veja’s inception, the duo was committed to utilising the most environmentally friendly production and manufacturing practices. Historically, sneakers can represent some of the largest issues that come with globalisation. Veja, however, aims to change this.
As we enter a new decade – faced with climate crises and uncertainty – making sustainable fashion choices seems more important than ever. Here’s how the brand is producing what are some of the most sustainable sneakers going ‘round.
A strong commitment to transparency
Made in Brazil, Veja represents a new guard of brands putting transparency and sustainability in the spotlight while not sacrificing style.
Veja is Portuguese for ‘look’. So fittingly, the brand’s philosophy is about looking beyond footwear itself, but rather how the sneakers are made and their impact on both the environment and the local communities who make them.
To ensure it fulfills its commitment to transparency, the brand provides full access to supply chain details and manufacturing contracts on its website. Maps details the full journey of your shoes – from where cotton and rubber are harvested through to the locations of all factories.
As well as these internal checks and balances, Veja is B Corp Certified. This means you can shop with the added assurance that the brand’s impact has been assessed and accredited by a globally recognised organisation. You can read more about B Corp here and the Veja’s impact score here.
Engaging local suppliers in fair and meaningful business relationships
While transparency is important, even more so is establishing fair and strong commercial bonds with suppliers. Veja works directly with Brazilian rubber and cotton suppliers to establish positive and fair business relationships.
For example, the brand pre-finances cotton harvests by as much as 40 per cent and sets fixed prices for orders to ensure harvesters know what their forecasted yearly income will be before they actually plant their crops.
Innovative materials, upcycling and sustainable harvesting
Completing the trifecta is the brand’s commitment to sustainable production. Since 2004, Veja has been purchasing rubber from the Amazon – the only place in the world where the material grows in the wild.
Veja works with local seringueiro communities who are able to source rubber in a traditional and sustainable manner which allows the forest to regenerate. Since 2004, Veja has purchased 130 tons of wild rubber, in turn saving the equivalent of 120,000 hectares of the Amazon rainforest.
Other sustainable initiatives include using recycled plastic bottles, cotton recycled from textile industry cuttings and recycled polyester. Additionally, Veja provides full transparency as to where its leather is sourced, ensuring it’s not from areas deforested for the cattle farming industry. The leather tanning process is also documented on the brand’s website, providing full transparency as to the chemicals used in the production process.
Shop our range of Veja sneakers here.