If you haven’t heard of Veja yet it’s because they focus more on the manufacturing process of their product, then spending the same amount of money on advertising -ultimately giving you a higher quality product. Instead of spending thousands of advertising, they rely on word of mouth and I couldn’t imagine a company who is more deserving than Veja.
Veja was founded in 2004, with the backbone of what they do being about transparency in their products. The word ‘Veja’ itself means look -‘Look beyond the sneakers, and look at how they are made.’
Veja has a whole section on their website that displays exactly how they source their product. From cotton, rubber, leather all the way to the process of how the shoes are made, we are able to get inside and understand the process behind making a killer pair of shoes. They even discuss their current limitations within their supply chain, which in my mind takes some guts.
Here’s an overview of all things Veja:
In terms of labour, Veja has been rated ‘great’ by Good On You, as a result of their fair trade practices and the organic sourcing of products.
Environmentally, Veja was rated ‘good’ due to its wide use of sustainable practices including eco-tanned leather, sustainably sourced wild rubber and organic cotton. They also utilise recycled packaging for shipping as often as they can.
Animal wise, Veja has been rated ‘good’, as they are unable to precisely locate and be transparent within the use of their leather.
As for the manufacturing and sourcing of their products, I’ll give you guys a quick summary:
Cotton: Their cotton is sourced from Ceara, in the Northeast of Brazil. Veja buys their cotton fair trade from 320 families who make a living from organic farming. Afterwards it is both spun and weaved into canvas for Veja to use in both their sneakers and accessories.
Rubber: Their rubber is sourced sustainably from the Amazonian Rainforest, where it is in the only place on earth that these tree grow in the wild. Rubber tappers live in the forest and harvest it from the tree, using a technique called FDL (Fola Desfumada Liquid- Liquid Smoked Sheet). This technique enable tappers to transform latex into rubber sheets, completely skipping the industrial intermediary processes commonly used. This provides a natural rubber, that contains no petroleum like most of the synthetic rubber we come across today.
Leather: leather cannot be made under fair trade principals realistically, so let’s skip past this part. Veja states ‘It is difficult to work directly with leather producers and it is quite impossible to be sure of the leathers origin or the way cattle have been treated’. However they do state that they are aware that the cattle used in their leather do not come from the Amazon, which is important because cattle breeding here is a main factor of deforestation.
Ultimately, they want to know how the cattle were treated, through to the tanning and dying processes of the leather which I think is a great thing to aim to achieve. The fact that they state their downfalls, and how they are working to solve it, in my opinion, creates so much more respect for this company.
If you want to know more about Veja, the fabulous Clare Press did an interview with the founder on her podcast Wardrobe Crisis which can enjoy here.