This February our Brand of the Month has a certain kick to it. Meet Veja, a brand that is breaking all the rules in the business guidebook by aiming to offer a different vision in the fashion world - combining fair trade and ecology by linking together economy, social initiatives and the environment.
Veja have a vision that proposes cultural change and transparency with its range of beautifully minimalist, wear-with-everything trainers. After seeing the dark side of globalisation, the two French founders (and childhood friends) Sébastien Kopp and François Morillion set up Veja in 2004. Veja’s model takes big ethical steps at every stage of the business by working with eco-friendly and fair-trade cooperatives of small producers and social associations in Brazil and France. This is done right from the sourcing and the production cycle, all the way through to packaging, distribution and even the energy used in the company’s French headquarters.
In the Amazon Rainforest, they work with a collectiion of rubber tappers for the wild rubber latex used in their soles. For the canvas of the trainers they use pesticide-, GMO- and fertilizer-free organic cotton. The final products are then assembled in factories where working conditions and wages are higher and fairer than the industry standard in Brazil. Their European warehouse and logistics network works with Ateliers Sans Frontières, an organisation that aims to rehabilitate those who have struggled in life through offering employment. Veja refuse to build up stock so they only produce on orders dated for the next six months, guaranteeing stock doesn’t accumulate and materials aren’t wasted. They also refuse to use advertising, as it is one of the biggest business expenses. This way they can bring a shoe to the market that can cost the same for the customer as other trainers, referring to how expensive their trainers cost to make. They believe that word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising which seems to work very well. The label has caught the eyes of celebrities such as Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg and David Beckham and fashion editors alike despite shunning all advertising and marketing.
The word ‘veja’ is a literal translation of the Portuguese-Brazilian word for ‘look’. So, we ask you to look in your wardrobes and think more about your spending habits by becoming a conscious consumer. Visit Veja’s online store and Instagram to browse their latest collection and read more about their project in detail.