Veja Footwear and Accessories: Style with a Conscience

With its exciting ranges of footwear and accessories, Veja is a footwear and accessories brand that has been on The Style Examiner’s radar for a while. Since it was established in Paris in 2004, the company has been growing from strength to strength and have never forgotten their eco-friendly and sustainable credentials. Instead, they have produced stylish designs while always striving to manufacture shoes and bags with a conscience.

Since it was founded, Veja has been working with co-operatives of small producers in Brazil that use organic cotton and wild rubber to create trainers that respect the environment as well as human and workers’ rights. Even the product packaging is made of recycled and recyclable cardboard of reduced dimensions to optimize efficiency.

Once finished, Veja trainers are transported by boat from Porto Alegre, in Brazil, to Le Havre in France. Upon arrival, the trainers travel in barges along the canals to the Parisian suburbs. The Atelier Sans Frontières (an association that promotes the social, professional and personal development of people facing social exclusion by helping them find work) then becomes responsible for storing and distributing the trainers to stores.

Veja prefers not to advertise; instead, it uses the resources saved by integrating them back into the production chain, thus allowing for the farmers and producers with whom Veja works to be reasonably remunerated. Production is also tightly controlled and Veja only manufactures orders placed six months in advance. This means that no extra stock is made and that production has to adapt to the availability of organic cotton. As a consequence, sometimes Veja has to reduce the quantities ordered by retailers to reflect the harvest.

If most designs produced by Veja have been outstandingly stylish, one of their most popular footwear lines – Veja Mediterranée – manages to combine effortless elegance with environmental conscience very successfully. The shoes are a cross between a sneaker and a boat shoe, and come in several colour combinations that have made them very coveted since they were launched a year ago.