Being eco-conscious is fast gaining kudos in the sneaker stakes. However, leading the pack for quite some time now, and traversing the fickle sways of the scene, is Veja: The French sneaker and apparel brand that is socially and ecologically responsible at pretty much every stage of its business.
While its headquarters sit in Paris, the label’s main production units are situated across South American – mainly in Brazil – and close to the various sources the brand needs in order to produce its footwear.
Of the growing trend in sustainable footwear, a strong current within that has been dominated through the (re)use of ocean plastic, spinning polymers into soft yet strong and versatile fabrics for garments. Veja’s B-Mesh (bottle mesh) technology is exactly this: Its Holiday B-Mesh style works the label’s signature Holiday runner silhouette with the breathable, waterproof B-Mesh fabric that’s spun on Japanese machines, with each pair of shoes equating to three reused plastic bottles.
To accompany the B-Mesh release of the Holiday, Veja has also relaunched one of its signature silhouettes for 2016, the Esplar court shoe. First released in 2011, the shoe’s name reflects the international reach of the brand. Named after the Brazilian NGO partner, the organization provides technical support to the organic cotton farming families of northern Brazil that Veja has worked with since 2004.
Veja’s Memory silhouette – its own distinct take on the moccasin boot – remained in the prototype stages for a total of five years before finally being released after painstaking development work in 2014. It was one of the first shoes in the line to use the label’s signature Liquid Rubber Technology in the sole unit – made from ecologically accredited, fairly-traded, wild Brazilian rubber.
For more on Veja, read our interview with the founders.