Veja, pioneers of sustainable sneakers
We introduce: Caro, responsible for the women’s shop selection and Toni, always by her side, in front of or behind the counter.
If you come by our shop often, you know them well!
On their feet (Caro’s, not Toni’s) the Veja models.
We have had the Veja shoe label in our assortment since we opened our shop in 2014, which have been designed in France and manufactured in Brazil since 2005.
What do we like about Veja? That someone has stepped up and shown the big shoe and sports labels: yes, it is possible to produce sustainable shoes and pay the workers appropriately – and still be successful.
They are so successful with their mission indeed that cheap brands are pirating them. Adidas, as well as other global players in the sports industry, has recently started producing recycled running shoes. Whether these are also produced under socially responsible and sustainable aspects is not visible on the Adidas website and the exact products are somehow difficult to find.
At Veja, however, transparency is important. Until a few years ago, Veja used vegetable-tanned leather without exception, but could no longer guarantee this due to increased sales. The reasons and current solutions are explained on the website, as well as all the other steps forward and backward on the way to 100% sustainable sneakers.
Veja processes various sustainable materials in their sneakers and pays more than the usual Brazilian minimum wage.
Specifically, this means:
Organic cotton, sourced from farmers’ associations in Brazil and Peru, and harvested with respect for people and the environment
Natural rubber makes up 30% of the components of VEJA soles. One of the main raw materials for this is rubber from the Amazon, of which more than 450 tonnes have been purchased since 2004 until the end of 2019. VEJA buys it directly from cooperatives made up of families of rubber tappers at double the market price.
The leather used in the sneakers is sourced from southern Brazil and tanneries that have been inspected and certified by the Leather Working Group. Tanning is a delicate process in terms of sustainability. To ensure that the chromium does not turn into the toxic chromium VI, Veja has been conducting random checks for years.
All chrome-free leathers are sourced from the Pampas, meaning the cows are fed only native vegetation.
The plastic parts used in the shoes, e.g. the B-mesh, are made from plastic bottles, recycled cotton from textile industry waste or recycled polyester.
VEJA manufactures its shoes just a few hours away from Porto Alegre, Brazil, in factories and workshops that comply with ILO rules. To ensure that the work meets VEJA’s requirements, additional criteria must be met, such as: proximity and quality of housing, freedom to form groups to defend rights (trade unions), social benefits and freedom of expression.
After all the years we have been selling VEJA sneakers, we are still convinced of their quality. If you’re curious, come by our store – we’ll be happy to advise you and tell you more about our sneakers.