How long have you spent mulling over your carbon footprint? Probably not as long as the team behind Veja, who have taken the term quite literally.
Veja are an honest trainer brand, concerned about waste from aglet to sole. They’re eco-conscious with a conscience; not content with merely greenwashing manufacturing practices, they are open about their business model, highlighting its flaws as well as its boons.
Not seen them until now? Well that's because they don't advertise; they put that budget towards creating fair and healthy working environments. The shoes are ferried from Brazil to France where they use green energy instead of the industry-standard nuclear option. Your order is even processed by The Atelier Sans Frontières association (ASF), which helps people facing social exclusion find work.
But there are areas for improvement. Their laces, for example, are currently not made out of organic cotton. The moss used to maintain the ankle is made with petrol. Eyelets don't contain nickel but they are composed of metal whose origin is not controlled. Plus American and Asiatic purchases are still delivered by plane, and it’s not yet possible to recycle the trainers. Which is an issue when you consider that trainers are an over-consumed product.
The Veja project is far from perfect, but we think that’s okay; it’s an investigation into best practice and overcoming limitation, paving the way for a cleaner future. And looking good whilst doing so.