Veja is a company created in 2004 by two founders; FranVois-Ghislain Morillion and Sébastien Kopp. They are company based solely on discovering and utilising sustainable fabrics and materials to create runners that not only look great, but are setting the standards for a brighter future.
With materials like ethically and organically sourced rubber and cotton creating the structure and insoles of their shoes, it begs the question to be asked, why don’t all brands follow suit?
The answer is pretty simple; profit and cost of advertising. Veja begin to explain on their website that in order to source and use more environmentally friendly raw materials, they needed to firstly extinguish the use of factories where workers were over-tired, over-worked and living in terrible conditions.
Veja decided to spend more money on the quality of their product, rather than on advertising. Most companies use 70% of their profit to pay for advertisement, and only 30% then goes to pay for raw materials and production. Veja said “We reallocat[ed] advertising resources to production , raw materials, and the people who make the sneakers. Producing sneakers that do respect the environment, sneakers with greater economic justice, simply by removing advertising from the equation.”
Morillion and Kopp spent a number of years travelling the world, locating organic rubber sourced from trees in the Amazon Forrest, which is used to create 40% of the soles of the runners. They sourced organic cotton from the Brazilian Nordeste by the Atlantic Coast which makes up the structure and insole.
While sourcing these materials for their product, they created a new material called B-Mesh. It is made entirely from recycled bottles picked up off the streets in Sao Paolo and Rio which are crushed into flakes and then further turned into fibre. The material created from this is actually more expensive than what is being used to create other runners on the market, which are not ethically or organically sourced.
They then went on the hunt for the perfect place to produce their ground-breaking product, and found in Porto Alegre there was a sneaker factory, in an area with strong social rights, where the workers carry out reasonable contracted hours for the correct pay.
For those environmentally conscious people out there, with this brand you are not only investing in a product made of better quality material, you’re also investing in the future of the environment and factory workers around the world for a price cheaper than other mid-range and high-range brands on the market.
Veja’s team strive for complete transparency in the brand, and have created an idea that will hopefully inspire hundreds of brands to begin a similar journey in creating fashion that is going to benefit the environment and the people working tirelessly in factories around the world.
For more information on the Veja brand click here.
To purchase a pair of Veja runners click here.
List of Irish retailers stocking Veja products: