Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion founded Veja in 2005 and have been making sneakers differently infusing each stage of production with a positive impact. They decided to make sneakers but this product highlights the major issues of the globalisation. Because of their strong beliefs, they refused to choose between design and social responsibility. They wanted to make shoes differently than others, everything had to be redone from scratch.
Veja is about making what they want the world to become
and design sneakers that they will be proud to wear in 10 years.
Fair trade is one of Veja's basic pillars. Cotton and rubber are purchased directly from Brazilian and Peruvian producers. Veja built a long-standing partnership with organic cotton farmers in North Brazil and wild rubber tappers in the Amazon to establish the production chain behind Veja in Brazil.
Environmentally friendly Veja sneakers, made with raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or polluting processes.
Veja is a member of the fair trade movement that advocates the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards.
Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions.
Upcycling consists of recovering materials or products that are no longer used in order to transform them into materials or products of higher quality or utility.
Plastic bottles, cotton recycled from waste from the textile industry, recycled polyester: Veja's recycled materials give a second life to household waste and allow them to create varied fabrics according to the seasons and their use.
From 2008 to 2015, 100% of Veja leather was already vegetable-tanned leather. Since 2015, the prohibitive costs and quality level have convinced them to turn back. Now, vegetable tanning is used on 10% of Veja styles. All of the leathers are now tested and meet REACH standards, which means they do not contain any chrome VI.
1 Veja model out of 3 is 100% vegan.
Making a Veja costs 5 to 7 times more expensive to produce because the raw materials are ecological and purchased according to the principles of fair trade, because the sneakers are produced in factories with high social standards.
At the origin of Veja, there is a very simple observation: 70% of the cost of a normal big brand sneaker is linked to advertising. Since they are not using any advertising or marketing, they are sold for the same price as sneakers sold on the high street.
Veja is planning to open a sustainable 'store of the future' called Veja x Darwin located in former military barracks in the French city of Bordeaux. The sustainable outlet is dedicated to recycling and repairing old and used Veja sneakers. The customers can also buy previous design prototypes with minimal defects or past season shoes. Through this initiative, the brand wants to "establish a blueprint for how to help reform the issue of waste and recycling in the fashion industry".
With an annual growth of about 20%, Veja is a successful company but their ultimate ambition is to continue their growth and make the business successful in the coming years to prove that it is possible to do business in a different way.