By: Johannes Griesshammer
You’ve probably seen the trendy shoe with a prominent V on its side, as Veja has been exploding in popularity. Their sleek design caught our eye, but their commitment to sustainable footwear production is what sold us to bringing them into our store. Veja was founded with the determination to be sustainable, eco-friendly, and transparent, all while providing better wages and working conditions for their employees than what was currently being offered by the masses.
The founders of Veja started by looking at the most basic part of a shoe: the raw materials. Some of the materials include organic cotton from Brazilian and Peruvian farms, rubber from the Amazon, and leather from cattle ranches in non-rainforested southern Brazil.
Once the raw materials had been carefully selected and sourced, the brand was interested in establishing a relationship with factories that aligned with their values. The obvious region for manufacture was Brazil, in an effort to reduce transportation impacts of raw materials. Veja has continued to work with the same factories since setting up, and ensures that workers have access to things such as regular schedules, union rights, and paid time off, along with a long list of other benefits.
You can rest assured that you can feel as good about the quality of life of the people involved in creating your shoes as you feel about wearing them.
More than just a look
Veja might be best known for their casual style, but they have been expanding their line to include performance running and hiking shoes as well. They have incorporated their sustainable ethos into their active shoes as well, with features such as PFC-free water repellency and 100% recycled polyester uppers. Their midsoles contain up to 50% sugarcane waste, which is a major crop in Brazil.
By introducing these design features into performance footwear, Veja finally offers us an active lifestyle shoe that incorporates our personal values.
What we truly love about Veja is their transparency. Many brands claim to be walking the walk, however, Veja has opened their books and shown the consumer exactly where they have strengthened their position as a positive force. The Veja Project offers a multi-chapter, in-depth and detailed look at their operations, from sourcing Amazonian rubber, to factory production, to shipping, and even to their headquarters. The brand goes on to identify weak points, and what goals they have set for themselves to close the loop and account for those parts of their supply chain.
We are absolutely excited to introduce you to Veja if you haven’t already found them on your own. Make sure to stop by Tahoe Mountain Life and check them out. Due to the fact the Veja is cut-to-order, we are not able to restock, reorder, or special order, so what we get is what we get!