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The story behind sustainable sneakers brand Veja

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

-  /  Sun, November 4, 2018  /  02:03 pm
The story behind sustainable sneakers brand Veja

French fashion brand Veja, known for its sustainable sneakers, supplies shoes to 1,800 retailers in 45 countries, according to a report by CNN. (Instagram/veja)

French fashion brand Veja, known for its sustainable sneakers, supplies shoes to 1,800 retailers in 45 countries and earned US$21 million in revenue from 550,000 pairs of sneakers, according to a report by CNN (

Veja founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion were inspired by their visit to clothing and food factories in South America, Asia and Australia while running a non-profit group.

In their visit, they were deeply concerned with how products were made.

Veja was therefore founded in France in 2005, three years after Sébastien and François established a non-profit organization that studied corporate social responsibility policies issued by companies around the world.

Aiming to manufacture sneakers made of the most ecological materials and involving ethical suppliers, Sébastien said the idea behind the brand was to “rethink the creation of a popular product”.

The pair then bought rubber from rubber tappers in the Amazon, despite its price being higher than that of synthetic materials, and made use of ecological cotton that was grown in ways that could return nutrients to the soil, rather than causing damage to it due to the usage of chemicals.

“It helps to fight against deforestation, as [they] prefer to work for us than to cut trees to raise cattle,” Sébastien told CNN, regarding the rubber.

To create its shoes, Veja also utilizes recycled plastic bottles by making a waterproof mesh for some of its sneaker models. The bottles are reportedly collected from the Brazilian streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

The shoe-making process does not come cheap, as it was reported that the sneakers range in price from $95 to $195. Despite the relatively high price, sales are said to have grown 50 percent annually since 2015.

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“A lot of our clients are discovering what is behind Veja after they buy one or two pairs,” Sébastien said, referring to the company’s sneakers, which are inspired by vintage volleyball shoes.

“People want to change the way they are consuming much more than before."

Celebrities such as Emma Watson, Marion Cotillard and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have been photographed wearing Veja shoes, which can be identified by its signature minimalist “V” logo. (acr/mut)

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