A fortuitous encounter as a kid, a look into corporate social responsibility, and…wild Amazonian rubber? While these elements appear to be somewhat disparate, they've been masterfully mixed into an eco-friendly success recipe. The master "chefs" behind this globally green recipe have concocted something that's causing a stir in the fashion world (and elsewhere): sustainable sneakers that are as stylish as they are environmentally good. Veja, the footwear company founded by Sebastien Kopp and Francois-Ghislain Morillion, is based on this principle.
Sustainability is more important than ever in today's society, and many companies are developing goods or establishing policies to reduce their environmental impact. Consumers who want to buy items and support firms that are helping — not damaging — the world for future generations are becoming more concerned about sustainability in fashion. But that's only one of the reasons why the French fashion label is gaining popularity among celebrities and other clients. Veja's footwear is also casual and comfortable, so you'll have plenty of reasons to want to add a pair or two of these timeless shoes to your collection.
Why Is Veja One of the World's Most Sustainable Sneaker Brands?
Veja was formed by Kopp and Morillion in 2005 after they founded a charity that evaluated corporate social responsibility policies around the world. The childhood friends grew up together in France and worked in banking before creating their NGO, which saw them travel to various textile and food companies in South America, Asia, and Australia to investigate whether they were following ethical methods. During these excursions, Kopp and Morillion discovered something was missing in the footwear industry: a desire to make durable footwear in a more inventive and environmentally responsible manner.
They began working toward this aim in a variety of ways. Veja is the first brand to use 100% recycled plastic bottle fabric. To provide better-for-the-earth footwear choices to fashion fans, the firm also uses wild rubber from Amazon rubber tappers, recycled plastic bottles from Brazil, and other eco-friendly, recycled, and natural materials. Three plastic bottles are needed on average to manufacture a pair of "upcycled" Veja shoes, which are light, breathable, and waterproof thanks to the materials used. Veja's sneaker boxes are also manufactured from recycled cardboard, and they don't contain any glue or ink, making them easier to recycle.
Not only does the company prioritize creating environmentally friendly sneakers and testing footwear for harmful substances, but it also attempts to guarantee that those who work in its factories are treated and compensated appropriately. It's no secret that the fashion industry has faced and continues to struggle with unsafe working conditions, child labor, unequal salaries, and other abuses of labor laws and human rights, particularly in the fast fashion business. Veja is committed to combatting this by providing healthy working conditions, as well as fair pay and benefits, for its factory workers in Brazil. Veja stands out because of its dedication to its employees.
The sneakers, however, are five times more expensive to create than other brands' footwear due to this and the brand's use of fair and environmentally friendly materials and techniques. Veja additionally incurs costs as a result of investments in R&D and new technologies in order to continue to improve the shoes for customers. Reinvesting in this manner may be costly, but there is no other option for this organization to survive.
Veja sneakers, in addition to their premium prices, require a long time to create and produce due to the materials they employ, yet admirers of the brand have commended the shoes' comfortable fit and wearability, especially when compared to other prominent brands. Of course, the effort put forth in running an environmentally friendly footwear firm stands out as well; it is this care and attention to detail that characterizes Veja as a company.
For faster mobility, a low top is recommended.
What could be more environmentally friendly than getting the most use out of a pair of shoes? Veja offers a collection of attractive shoes designed for (and that can withstand) day-to-day activities and long-term wear, given the brand's focus on sustainability. The Veja Esplar Low Sneaker, for example, is a clean-lined, minimalist shoe that, because to its throwback athletic appearance, is nearly certain to match with everything. It's constructed of 33% organic cotton and 67% recycled polyester, adhering to Veja's objective of developing environmentally friendly footwear. Fans of the shoe have said that the Esplar sneakers take some time to break in, but once they do, they're quite comfy and easy to move around in.
The predominant color of this low-top pair of sneakers is extra white, but there are two more basic versions, one with a splash of maroon and another with a hint of orange in the shoe's emblem. In addition, Veja offers a variety of color combinations for the shoe. Because of its streamlined design, the shoe goes with almost any outfit and offers a sporty touch.
Ankle Protection with a Hightop
The Veja Roraima Sneakers, with its high-top design that combines hiking and skater styles for a supportive, classic look, provide a little more ankle protection and warmth than the Esplar sneakers. The inner lining of the shoe is made of flannel, recycled cotton, and polyester for enhanced warmth in colder weather. The outside calfskin gives the shoes a more rugged appearance that makes them appear ideal for outdoor activities; nonetheless, this is still intended to be a fashion shoe that provides a little more comfort than Veja's low-top choices.
The Roraima, like all of Veja's other shoes, is handcrafted in Brazil, and its sole is composed of the brand's distinctive wild Amazonian rubber. The uppers of some pairs of these shoes are made from recycled water bottles. Veja recommends treating your pair of Roraimas with a leather-care cream or spray and dry-brushing the suede applique "V" patches due to the softer calfskin used in these shoes.
Eco-friendly and sustainable fans would appreciate this option.
The Veja V-10 Sneaker is one of the most popular alternatives available from the brand. This style of shoe, which comes in a variety of hues including white, pink, and even a colorful, metallic finish called "Unicorn," is a fan favorite. The "Nautico" is shown here, with red and blue decorations reminiscent of nautical flags and yachts, giving these shoes a preppy touch.
This style is considerably more of a tennis shoe than the Esplar, which has a similarly low profile and was named the V-10 to mark "10 years of love" and Veja's 10th anniversary with the shoes' release in 2015. They do, however, feature the brand's distinctive wild rubber, as well as a soft inner lining composed of light jersey for breathable comfort without the extra warmth of the Roraima. Because these low-top shoes run large, you may wish to size down a whole size.
If you want to become or stay active while making more sustainable choices, Veja provides a variety of running shoes. The Veja Women's x Rick Owens Runner Style Sneaker in Wool Beige, which was a popular collaboration between the brand and fashion designer Rick Owens, who is known for his glam-goth-grunge sensibilities, is one of the most popular options.
With a basic, athletic style that's comfy for exercise but also stands out with its sleek grey coloring and quirky accents that'll draw you in for a closer look, these runners lean more towards the glam side. The pull-tab on the ankle is excessively large, and you'll realize that the laces have four rows of eyelets instead of the usual two after a close inspection.
Children's Veja Training Shoes
When it comes to footwear, Veja doesn't forget about the small ones. Though the brand offers a few laced sneakers for kids who have mastered tying the bunny's ears, the Veja Small V-12 Low-Top Velcro Trainers for Girls is one of the brand's many sneaker options for the younger audience. The shoes are adorable and easy for both youngsters and parents to put on, resembling the V-10s but in smaller proportions.
The V12s for kids are created in Brazil with natural Amazonian rubber in the soles and insoles, just like Veja's adult shoes. They're also made of ChromeFree leather, which is created using a new manufacturing technique that tans the leather without the use of chrome, heavy metals, or acids, which are commonly used to make leather more durable.