Veja Sneakers: Saving the Rainforest in Style
What is Veja?
Veja is a French-Brazilian footwear brand determined to provide high-quality, fashionable shoes through thoughtful, sustainable practices.
From the materials to the manufacturing process, these gorgeous shoes fully embody our philosophy at Remedy Road. The key to solving environmental challenges is finding a way to make doing the right thing for our planet more economical.
Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion are the French shoemakers behind Veja. They are working to bring about cultural change in key areas that they believe will ultimately save the environment.
Veja Sources Organic Cotton from Brazil
Because they understand the need to move away from traditional cotton farming practices, Veja buys organic cotton at around twice the market price.
Traditional cotton farming is a cause for big environmental concern. Cotton accounts for 16% of all the world's insecticides, even though it only grows on 2.5% of the world's cultivated land. Pesticides are known to decrease biodiversity, and the chemicals used to process cotton pollute both the air and surface water.
Organic cotton is grown from non-genetically modified plants and without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. Veja works with a co-op of organic cotton farmers in Brazil that includes over 320 families.
Soles Made from Wild Rubber
The soles of Veja sneakers are made from wild rubber sourced directly from the Amazon Rainforest.
Did you know the Amazon is the only place in the world where rubber trees grow in the wild?!
The challenge with tapping wild rubber is that the trees grow in a dense, biodiverse environment. That means it takes more time to harvest, as well as local knowledge and expertise.
Veja works with Amopreab, an association of Seringeiros— tappers who live in the Amazon Rainforest. They use new technology that allows them to turn latex into rubber sheets without any industrial processes. The rubber sheets are considered a semi-finished product, so the tappers can sell them for a higher rate.
Because tappers can make a decent wage this way, they don't have to turn to deforestation to make a living. Veja fights deforestation by investing in wild rubber and helping to make the most environmentally sustainable process more economically viable.