By maximizing renewable resources and formulating footwear with the eco-conscious in mind, VEJA has spent the last two decades crafting shoes that focus on sustainability. The brand was founded in 2005 by two friends, Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion, in an effort to create a company that respects both the consumer and the planet alike. Because of this, VEJA’s mission is to ground themselves in environmentally-sound designs when it comes to creating sneakers while championing social projects, economic justice and the use of ecological materials.
The brand’s name, VEJA, means “look” in Portuguese, and it reflects the company's focus on transparency and accountability as a brand. They ask customers to “look beyond the sneakers and look at how they’re made” — especially since VEJA has always been committed to using sustainable materials and ethical production methods. Through constant and critical innovation, their products are made increasingly eco-friendly thanks to their use of organic cotton for their canvas sneakers and wild rubber sourced from the Amazon rainforest for their soles. The rubber is harvested by local communities in a way that helps to preserve the rainforest, while VEJA buys the rubber at five times the market price — ensuring that a portion of the price goes towards Social and Environmental Services too.
In addition to using sustainable materials, VEJA is also committed to ethical production methods. Although the brand originated in France, VEJA works directly with small-scale producers in Brazil and Peru to ensure that workers are paid fairly and have safe working conditions. VEJA also prioritizes transparency in their supply chain, and they regularly publish information about their factories and suppliers on their website to offer a window into their best practices from start to finish. Sleek and eco-friendly, their sneakers are not only ethically made, but they also make waves within the fashion community — as VEJA is no stranger to collaborations, ranging from the likes of Rick Owens and Madewell, this shoe brand is making influential steps in a clouded and oversaturated industry.
Spanning two decades into its making, VEJA is proving that it is possible to create elevated and refined products that are also sustainable and ethical. When it comes to using eco-friendly materials and working with small-scale producers, VEJA is helping to support local communities and protect the environment. And by prioritizing transparency and accountability, they aim to create a ripple effect with more and more brands following suit, applying ethical business practices to everything they do.
So if you’re looking to take conscientious steps into more sustainable footwear, shop VEJA now in-store and online at size? Canada.