Name of the brand Veja / Name of the company Veja
Created in 2004
Country of origin France / Country of production Veja is a Paris based company but the trainers and accessories are created in Brazil, a country unique in its ability to combine organic cotton farming, wild rubber tapping, social enterprises and good working conditions. Maintaining the entire production process within one country reduces transportation and makes environmental sense. The trainers also travel to France by boat and onto Paris by barge.
Name of the founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion
Number of employees Veja has a staff of almost 30 operating in Paris, London and Brazil
Number of sales points Veja Small will start in the UK with 10 stockists for SS12 and is stocked in approximately 150 stores worldwide. Le Bon Marché in Paris was one of the first stores to stock Veja Small and still carries the largest selection. Veja also has a long running relationship with French, children’s Couturier Bonpoint, which collaborates with Veja each season to produce micro collections available exclusively in Bonpoint stores. Finally in the UK, Veja Small launched with childrenswear boutiques Elias and Grace and Petit Aimé
e-store Veja carries its own online store (www.veja-store.com) featuring online exclusives and a selection of the Veja collection. Veja Small designs will be available online as of January 2012
Company statement The Veja project can be summed up in one question: Is another world possible? The Veja project creates contemporary footwear and accessories which respect both the environment and human workers involved.
What makes the brand unique ? Veja has created a solidarity chain extending from small farmers in Brazil to concept stores in Europe. In Brazil Veja promotes agro-ecology principles, fairtrade and good working conditions in order to make a positive impact on the communities with which it is involved. The solidarity chain continues into Europe where the distribution of designs is managed by Ateliers Sans Frontiers, a Paris based social association which aims to re-integrate individuals back into society though work.
Veja is also an investigation, a project that is constantly evolving and questioning the world we live in. The first years have seen the development of the social, environmental and economic pillars of the project. In recent years Veja has occupied a cultural platform, curating art exhibitions, directional talks and thought provoking events
How many pieces per collection? Each Veja Small collection is comprised of four designs. In the Winter these are made using vegetable tanned leather and suede
The Summer collection is made using organic cotton canvas. New for SS12, Veja introduces the Mediterranee for children. This will be available in exclusivity in the UK at Elias and Grace
Main materials used Veja works with a cooperative of farming families in the North East of Brazil who grow organic cotton to create the trainers’ canvas. Organic farming is free from environmentally damaging chemicals and pesticides. Through paying farmers roughly twice the market price for organic cotton, Veja provides them with security whilst promoting agro-ecology principles. Year on year the number of families participating has increased and currently stands at 350
Rubber to create the soles of the shoes is extracted by a community of Seringueiros (rubber tappers) working in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest. This is the only place on Earth where rubber trees grow in the wild. Paying a fair price for the rubber means that rubber tappers can live decently from the revenues provided by the forest. They are then less tempted by the financial opportunities of lands clearing. This is a way to fight against deforestation. The leather which creates Veja trainers is tanned using natural acacia tree extracts. Suede is also naturally dyed
What are Veja’s plans for the future? SS12 sees the launch of Veja Small in the UK. Collections will be introduced in exclusive children’s stores such as Caramel Baby&Child, Elias and Grace and Couverture. The Veja Small Méditerranée will also make its debut. This adaptation of the adult line combines elements of the sneaker and boat shoe in a casual, yet stylish design. Veja’s long term association with Bonpoint is also set to continue with the launch of their latest collaboration early in the New Year. Alongside this, Veja hopes to stage a number of fun, interactive events in London for children, raising awareness about the environment and the Veja project.
Veja will be at Playtime Paris (January 28-30)