Sustainable. Stylish. Ethical. All things that make me :D!
Veja, a French footwear brand, is the most ethical sneaker brand in the world. From sustainability to fair-trade, to ethically sourced materials from the Amazon, this company is leading by example.
What Makes Them Awesome?
Cotton: Veja buys cotton from 320 families who live off of organic farming in the Northeast of Brazil. Organic farming is better for the environment and farmers’ health and also allows producers to sell cotton at higher, fairer prices than synthetic cotton. Veja buys organic cotton at almost twice the market price. No pesticides or chemicals are used and fair trade practices are honored.
Rubber: Veja shoes are made with wild rubber from the Amazon. They work with rubber tappers who live in the forest and extract latex from rubber trees. Using a new technology, called Liquid Smoked Sheet, the workers are able to independently transform latex into rubber sheets. Veja buys Amazonian rubber at a premium, which allows the rubber tappers to live decently from rubber tapping. This helps reduce the financial appeal of deforestation. The survival of the Amazonian rainforest is dependent on more sustainable management of its resources, with latex extraction being one of them.
Leather: Although leather can’t really be ethically made, since 2006 Veja has used a vegetable-tanned leather, which is free of heavy metals that emit high levels of pollution into nearby bodies of water. Veja has replaced heavy metals with acacia extracts, a natural tannin. They also offer a line of Vegan shoes.
Fair-Trade: Veja works with cooperatives of small producers and social associations in Brazil and France to help ensure workers rights through proper wages, work conditions and time off, paying a higher wage than the industry standard for the country.
Zero Advertising: Veja has a “no advertising” policy. You heard me: they don’t advertise! Instead, they use the money saved to compensate their farmers and producers and to sell their shoes at a competitive price (making conscious shoes costs 3-4X more to manufacture!)
Zero Stock: Veja carries no extra stock, by only producing orders dated for the next six months, so there are no wasted materials. They adapt to the availability of organic cotton and even reduce quantities ordered by retailers to reflect the harvest.
Committed to C02 Reduction: All Veja shoes are transported by boat from Brazil to France, and then to Parisian suburbs via the canal system in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions. All packaging is also recyclable and made from recycled cardboard.
Atelier Sans Frontieres: Veja works with the Atelier Sans Frontieres association (ASF), which helps ex-offenders, drug-users and others facing social exclusion find work. All Veja shoes are sent to ASF to be packaged and shipped.
Transparency: They are completely transparent. If they’re not doing something in the best possible way, they’ll be the first ones to tell you about it. In today’s marketing world, this is hard to find!
Green Electricity: Veja’s headquarters in France use a cooperative of green electricity called ENERCOOP rather than the national nuclear supplier.
Where to Buy
I buy mine directly from Veja, but certain styles are also available at these locations. Their size guide was on point and fit true to size (I am a US size 8 and ordered a 39). They fit perfectly and were comfortable from day one, even walking long distances! I heart these shoes 😍
Visit Veja’s online store to browse their latest collection and to read about the project in more detail.