Yep, Veja is a brand that spends five times more money than your regular shoe company on the production of their sneakers. Yep, they’re a completely transparent brand—they even have a whole section on their website dedicated to exactly how they source every material included in their products. Yep, one of the EME girls screamed of happiness when she got a pair for her birthday.
Even though they’re totally epic, we wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t yet heard of Veja. This isn’t because they don’t make kick-ass sneakers that you could totally kick someone’s ass with, it’s because they prefer to put their money into the manufacturing process of their products rather than the ridiculous amount of advertising that is typical of their mainstream competitors. They rely on word of mouth, and we’re ready to deliver.
Veja was founded in 2004 and is a brand that spends five times more money than your regular shoe company on the production of their sneakers. Why, you ask? It’s because they only use fair trade and organic materials, and are constantly investing in new technologies. Veja is a Brazilian word meaning “look”, and is a direct transfer of their ethos and core value: looking beyond just the sneakers to see exactly how they were made.
Here’s a little teaser for you to get your ethical mouth drooling:
- In terms of labour, Good On You has rated Veja “great” as a result of their fair trade practices and the organic sourcing of the materials in their products; and
- Environmentally, Veja was rated “good” due to its wide use of sustainable practices, including their eco-tanned leather, sustainably sourced wild rubber and organic cotton. They also utilise recycled packaging for shipping as often as they can.
Veja is a completely transparent brand—they even have a whole section on their website dedicated to exactly how they source every material included in their products. From the cotton, rubber and leather, all the way to the process of how the shoes are made, everyone is able to see and understand the process behind these shoes. They even discuss the current limitations within their supply chain which, in our eyes, takes some guts. This honesty and transparency is what customers should come to expect from this awesome brand.
The cotton used in Veja sneakers is sourced from Ceara, a state in the Northeast region of Brazil. Veja buys fair trade cotton from 320 families who make a living from organic farming. Afterwards, it is spun and weaved into canvas for Veja to use in all of their products.
Veja’s rubber is sourced sustainably from the Amazon, as this is the only place on earth where these trees grow in the wild. Rubber tappers live in the forest and harvest it from the tree, following a path only they know about. In order to protect the rainforest, Veja’s goal is to boost its economic value.
The leather that Veja uses comes from southern Brazil, and because they track their leather, they know it does not come from the Amazon or from an area that was deforested for cattle farming. Also, out of the 81 models in the 2018 collection, 20 did not contain any animal products—that’s one out of four!
Like a lot of other brands we feature on EME, Veja is one that holds transparency as an integral part of their services, and each stage of their production process merges opportunity with positive impact. If you want to hear more about this forward-thinking brand then check out the interview its founder did with the fabulous Clare Press on the Wardrobe Crisis podcast.
Want to know where Veja sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.
Veja buys fair trade cotton from 320 families who make a living from organic farming. Veja’s rubber is sourced sustainably from the Amazon, as this is the only place on earth where these trees grow in the wild. The leather that Veja uses comes from southern Brazil, though does not come from the Amazon or from an area that was deforested for cattle farming.
Fair trade is one of the three fundamental pillars VEJA is build on. Cotton and rubber are purchased directly from producers in Brazil. We sign 1-year contracts with them and set a market-decorrelated price. It's one of the ways to ensure more equitable and dignified commercial transactions.
VEJA is the first sneaker brand to use fabric entirely made from recycled plastic bottles: B-mesh. Also, several types of recycled and transformed materials are used in our sneakers.
"Veja" is Brazilian for "look", so we know exactly how our shoes are made, how much our labourers are paid, how much our cotton farmers earn, and even what chemicals are used in a pair of our shoes.
We give back by being completely active in our practices. In 2004, we started a partnership with ADEC (Associação de Desenvolvimento Educacional e Cultural de Tauá), our long-standing partner in organic and agro-ecological cotton farming. Farmers are organised into associations who share their cotton harvests and transformation costs.