There’s no better advertisement for a sneaker brand than the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex wearing your shoes on multiple occasions. Especially when you are a brand that purposely avoids marketing.
Now, Hollywood celebrities, including Emma Watson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Emily Ratajkowski, can’t get enough of French footwear and accessories brand Veja.
But what exactly makes Veja appealing and popular?
The birth of Veja
In 2003, non-profit founders Sebastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion were auditing a fast-fashion factory in China when they realized the scale of how globalization impacts the production of clothes and food.
A year later, they decided to establish a sneaker line that would use only the most ecological materials and ethical suppliers they could find. The brand would go on to be called Veja, which is Portuguese-Brazilian for “look” — reflecting their core value of transparency, which, according to Morillion is: "Look beyond the sneakers, look how they are made."
Aside from transparency about materials, processes, and labor, the brand only creates shoes that can withstand the test of time, thus avoiding unsustainable production and distribution.
Ethical shoe production
The sneaker brand does not only offer transparency at every stage of production, but it also works directly with small-scale producers in Brazil and Peru, removing middle men and guaranteeing larger income for their suppliers.
Interestingly, Veja requires their farmers to implement agroecology, using long-term contracts to receive a reliable cotton supply, while assuring that they have already bought the product even before the seeds are planted.
Determined to make as little impact on the environment as possible, Veja produces shoes made of different organic and locally sourced materials, like cotton, wild rubber, and leather. The company guarantees that their leather does not come from the Amazon forest or from a deforested area, and instead, they incorporate fish leather from freshwater farms. To prolong its lifespan, they treat the leather with chrome and vegetable tanning, minimizing the excess waste and pollutants produced.
As much as possible, the brand upcycles their materials and includes recycled polyester which comes from plastic bottles (you can learn more about this on our sustainability pages). The company also continuously invests in new technologies to further improve their practices.
A growing legacy
As Veja takes over the world one pair of shoes at a time, the brand has forged a slew of partnerships to excite sneakerheads the world over. In April, the brand released a new Runner 2 line with Rick Owens, combining the Californian designer’s brutalist and minimalist aesthetic with Veja’s trademark sustainable design. The shoes come in four colorways — Pop Pink, Full Black, Honey, and Oyster.
Last March, Veja also collaborated with French running collective Jolie Foulée for the launch of Condor 2. Aside from recycled materials, the sneakers are equipped with lightweight L-foam cushioning for a lighter tread and added comfort. Its predecessor, the Veja Condor, was selected as the Product of the Year in the Running Hardware category by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.
Now, you know why these sneakers have quickly become so popular, especially among celebrities and fashion influencers. Hopefully, more footwear and clothing brands will follow the V-shaped footsteps of Veja.
And what better partner is there for sustainable footwear than sustainable socks? Here at Teddy Locks, we offer only luxuriously soft and sustainable socks made from recycled materials.
Your feet will love them so much, they won’t believe they are made from trash!
Written By Ramona Jordyn