Wearable sustainability

By Sarah Selig

Wearable sustainability
Sustainability has never looked so on-trend or comfortable.

Behind Veja Sneakers, heralded as the ‘sustainable sneaker’, are two French entrepreneurs Sebastian Kopp and Francois Ghislain Morillion. The team of business graduates started a shoe-company in 2004. Both were united in their desire to tackle the social and environment crises generated through unsustainable commercial operations.

Travelling through Brazil provided the inspiration and means of their first shoe… a simple canvas sneaker. The shoe was made with cotton from a local family farm in north-eastern Brazil and wild rubber from Amazonia. Today, this one shoe has paved the way for the growing company to purchase 30,000 pounds of fair trade cotton from 320 different families each year.

The company uses wild Amazonian rubber, organic and fair trade cotton, vegetable-tanned leather and tilapia-skin waste to create its shoes. Tilapia is the most farmed fish in the United States, meaning the company is able to make good use out of vast quantities of wastage.

The company has not waivered on its sustainable approach to fashion; with its newest addition a textile made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Veja is developing vegetable and non-polluting colour pigments to further enhance their ecological transparency.

Veja has three sophistically designed shoe ranges for men, women and children.



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