Meet the duo behind
Manufactured: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Materials Sourced: Porto Alegre, Acre, Amazon, Taua, Ceará, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil
Mission: Committed to building a sustainable and transparent fashion company that proves innovative design, eco-friendly materials and fair trade are compatible.
Veja, meaning ‘look’ in Portuguese was specifically named to represent the companies overall mission, transparency. The founders wanted to encourage customers to look behind the product and look at how things are done.
After spending a year working on sustainable development projects, Veja founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillon, set out to create a sustainable and transparent company that they felt was lacking in the fashion industry.
In 2004, they travelled to Brazil to meet with organic cotton farmers and wild rubber trappers to source raw materials for their sneakers. Ten years later, they still work directly with small farmers to source fabric and create ecological materials, helping to strengthen the communities in which they work.
Veja works in the North-East of Brazil with a co-operative of organic cotton farmers. Over 300 families have adopted the agro-ecology farming model with the technical support of the local NGO, ESPLAR. Cotton and food crops are cultivated without the use of chemicals or pesticides.
The soles of the sneakers are made from wild rubber sourced from the Amazonian Rainforest. The Amazon is the only place in the world where rubber trees grow in the wild. The company purchases Amazonian rubber at a premium rate which allows the rubber trappers to earn a decent wage and reduces the financial appeal of land clearance. The method is an economically sustainable way to fight against deforestation.
WHY WE LOVE THEM:
Not only have they shaken up the marketplace by producing unique designs that we for one couldn’t be more obsessed with, but they have done it by using ecological and fair trade principles while working with small producers and social associations, creating an entire cultural shift in the industry.