Veja: Sneakers With Soul
1. Getting to know the locals:
Veja are dedicated to ensuring a good working relationship with their manufacturers. One of their founders, Sebastien, moved from Paris to Brazil to establish and solidify this relationship, their producers are based in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, a well-developed region in South Brazil. Workers’ rights are respected and extra hours are paid, they are in integral partner of Vejas.
2. Organic Cotton Farming:
Veja buy cotton from 320 families located in the Northeast of Brazil, the state of Ceará has vast wealth inequalities, fragile soils and a tendency towards drought. In contrast to the predominant monoculture farming system, a group of small producers grow cotton and food plants under agro-ecology principals which ban agro-chemicals and pesticides.
3. From Chrome to Vegetables:
Veja only use vegetable tanned leather created using extracts such as Acacia, unlike traditional tanning processes that use heavy metals like Chronium eco tanned leather reduces the pollution in water surrounding the tannery.
4. Working in the Amazon:
The soles of Veja sneakers are made from wild rubber grown in the Amazon which is the only place on earth where rubber trees grow in the wild. The Amazonian rubber tappers live in the forest and harvest from the trees. Since 2007 Veja has been working with Bia Saldanha, the Brazilian Green Party co-founder and environmental activist. She provides technical support for the rubber tappers and she coordinates the rubber supply chain.
5. Providing Opportunity:
From start to finish Veja consider their social impact, they work with The Atelier Sans Frontières association (ASF) in France, an organisation that facilitates people facing social exclusion from work. Veja’s shoes get sent from Brazil to ASF where they are picked, packed and shipped to customers.
6. Zero Advertising:
Veja have a ‘no advertising’ policy. The resources saved by this are integrated into the production chain, this means the farmers and producers Veja work with are fairly remunerated – to accommodate their social and environmental requirements.
Veja’s fabric costs are 3 to 4 times higher than other footwear brands because their sneakers are produced with a high level of integrity. But Veja are able to sell their sneakers at a price equal to competitors due to their no advertising policy.
7. Zero Stock:
Veja tightly controls its production and only produces orders from retailers that are placed six months in advance. This way they reduce the risk of waste by not producing extra unwanted stock.