Founded in 2004 by Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion, French brand VEJA offer a unique and sutainability-concious approach to footwear.
The Creation of Veja
Who made VEJA?
Veja started when Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion wanted to reinvent a product, they decided that the most symbolic object of their generation was the simple trainer and so they set out to deconstruct it and recreate it in a completely different way, the right way.
Both Sébastien and François were amazed by the way that other brands produced their own trainers, pushing 70% of their financial backing to marketing and outreach, and only 30% to the raw materials and trade routes used. In their eyes this was wrong; As their company started 100% of their funding went towards the quality materials, and the people who farmed them. This was their idea of economic justice.
The founders identified Brazil as a country that produced all of the raw materials that they would need to create its trainers, and laws that protects their workers. They personally set off, exploring the production methods, and finding the best materials that offer both physical and economic sustainability. To Veja there are five steps, five locations that allow the company to thrive.
- Brazilian Serengeti – This is where they found their Amazonian Rubber, the organically sourced material makes up the sole of over 40% of Veja’s trainers.
- Nordeste – Here they found farmers who produced cotton in a agro-ecological way, without pesticides and without fertilizers. To secure a partnership with the farmers, and to keep aligned with their fair trade views, Sébastien and François paid double the market value of the cotton that was made.
- Sao Paulo – Veja wanted to create a more sustainable alternative their cotton that they could use in their trainers if it was needed. This led to the creation of ‘B Mesh’. B Mesh is a thin fibre, produced by crushing up plastic bottles and spinning them out into a weavable thread. This can make a breathable and durable trainer with no negative ecological impact.
- Porto Alegre Sneaker Factory – Here Veja relies on local workers to craft their trainers, they selected the district due to its strong social rights where workers work reasonable hours and get paid more than a living wage.
- Bonneuil-Sur Marne – In the founders’ home country Veja needed a logistical hub. They partnered with a social reintegration organisation that employs vulnerable people to organise the distribution of their products all over the globe.
These five places are at the heart of everything that Veja do, offering sustainability, equality, fair working conditions, ecological production and more. The brands ethos is sustainability, Veja which literally translates to ‘look’ in Portuguese, encourages its consumers to look behind their products, how they were made, what with, and how those who made them are treated. This is the brands effort to reinforce the economic justice they so strongly believe in.
Because of their story and effortless style, all of Veja’s trainers are absolutely quality. With that being said, if we had to pick we could narrow it own to about three silhouettes. The veja campo, Veja rio branco and Veja Esplar.
An essential trainer destined for your footwear collection. The Campo model offers a flawlessly elegant silhouette.
A ‘Chrome Free’ leather upper houses Veja’s playful ‘V’ logo. Accents to the heel and gold foil ‘Veja’ branding adds character to the shoe. While a cushioned lining provides pure comfort, a luxury often overlooked when it comes to leather trainers. An amazonian rubber sole houses the premium upper and provides a well suited, subtle contrast in the trainer’s colour scheme.
‘Chrome Free’ leather constructs the shoe’s upper: with its provenance in Brazilian cattle farms, the smooth and light material is produced using a unique and innovative tanning process. The removal of chrome, heavy metals and dangerous acids in its creation leads to reduced waste, chemicals and energy usage. Water is saved during the process too with a 40% reduction in the amounts used.
Rubber and rice waste make up the ‘V’ Veja branding and organic cotton fabricates the trainer’s laces, while the insole provides comfort through a combination of materials such as amazonian rubber, recycled E.V.A, organic cotton and sugar cane. Recycled polyester adds soft padding to the insole and the outsole is made up of a blend of Amazonian rubber, recycled rubber and rice waste.
Made in Brazil, Veja keeps sustainability at the forefront of their mind when producing quality footwear. This Veja Campo Chrome Free Leather trainer offers a basic style made with luxurious, recycled and sustainable materials that can elevate any outfit and fit easily into a capsule wardrobe.
Retro inspired, the Veja Rio Branco follows the archival traits of some of the best running trainers of the 80s and reproduces them in a clean, sustainable silhouette.
The trainers upper is crafted using the brands ‘Alveomesh’, a fine fabric made from recycled polyester that is lightweight and offers breathability to its wearer. Suede overlays help to break up the visuals. crafted from ethically treated bovine leather, the suede undergoes a natural coating process in which it is treated with natural oils to enhance its light water resistant qualities. A branded heel tab offers a further contrast while Veja’s joyful ‘V’ logo is emblazoned on the trainers side panelling.
To the bottom of the shoe, a combination of sugar cane, rice waste and Amazonian rubber construct the sole. With a spongy midsole, everyday impacts are absorbed guaranteeing everyday comfort, while the rubber outsole provides traction on the most slippy of surfaces.
An ideal trainer to rock all year round, the Rio Branco offers comfort, style and versatility.
Contemporary minimalism at its finest. The Veja Esplar displays many similarities to the brand’s Campo model, all while offering a slimmer silhouette with a more sleek body.
The bovine leather upper is imported from Uruguayan farms, a country notorious for quality leather production and it rich culture of animal husbandry. The leather is then tanned in Brazil where it is attached to the sole in the Porto Algere Trainer factory. A suede heel tab is crafted from the underside of bovine leather, it’s brushed to increase flexibility and softness before being treated with a PFC free oil to add a water resistant coating.
The Esplar sole is made using a combination of ethically sourced Amazonian rubber , rice waste and recycled rubber. Offering not only comfort but knowledge that your product was made in an environmentally friendly way. Veja branding is present to both the tongue and heel while the brands ‘V’ logo appears on the trainers side panelling.
A perfect pair of trainers offering an amazing amount of versatility, dress them up with chinos or opt for your favourite denim to create a more casual look.
How to Style Veja Trainers?
Whether you need a bit of styling inspiration, or you just want to have a closer look at the brands offering, our in-house team have put together a short video showing the pure versatility and style that Veja offers. Check it out below.