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Veja - The style sets new trainer

Posted on March 01 2016

Mercantile London are proud to welcome French footwear and accessories brand Veja into the brand mix for summer 16.
Veja follow strict environmental, ethical and fair trade principles, with transparent step by step production methods, from initial design to arrival in-store. With the stylish yet socially conscious styles being produced in fair trade organic cotton, recycled plastic and wild rubber tapped from the Amazonian rain forest you can wear these fresh, minimal shapes with a clean conscious. 

 

See Veja's video stories below for the admirable lengths the brand go to ensure minimal environmental impact and continued support for their workers and be sure to check out the full details at Veja.

Veja buys cotton from 320 families who live from organic farming. Respecting fair trade rules, the cotton is spun then woven into canvas for Veja sneakers and accessories.

For the past seven years, Veja has been working with ADEC (Associação de Desenvolvimento Educacional e Cultural) – an association of growers located in Tauá, North-east Brazil. Organized into an association, the producers pool their harvests in the same warehouse and by working together, minimise cotton transformation costs.

Veja believe another way of producing cotton is possible, one without pesticide, without GMO or fertilizers, and founded on rotation farming and contour planting. ESPLAR – a Brazilian NGO based in Fortaleza, in the state of Ceará – provide technical support to the organic cotton farmers and advise them in the field, helping them adopt the working model.

With their help, more and more farmers of the region are now converting from their traditional farming to agroecology. They see it as a way to preserve the soil but also to protect their own health. This new farming method shields them from the toxic substances of pesticides.

 

The Amazon is the only place on earth where rubber trees grow in the wild. Inside the Chico Mendès extractive reserve, located in the Brazilian state of Acre, Veja work with Amopreab, an association of Seringeiros – the rubber tappers. The Amazonian rubber tappers live in the forest and harvest from the trees. The rubber is then used in the soles of Veja trainers.

Since 2007 Veja has been working with Bia Saldanha, the Brazilian Green Party co-founder and environmental activist. She provides technical support for the rubber tappers and coordinates the rubber supply chain.

 

Veja only use eco-tanned leather created with vegetable extract such as acacia. Unlike modern tanning procedures (based on chromium and other heavy metals) leather that is ecologically tanned decreases pollution in water surrounding the tannery plant.

Veja’s ultimate objective is to be knowledgeable of and in control of their whole leather supplier chain, from the cows living conditions to the tanning and dying process of the leather. There are also plans for a future vegan collection.

 

The Veja trainers are made in factories located in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, a well-developed region in South Brazil. Workers’ rights are respected and extra hours are paid.

Veja tightly controls its production and no extra stock is produced. Production has to adapt to the availability of organic cotton which may vary.

Veja’s fabrication costs are three to four times higher than other footwear brands because the trainers and bags are produced with dignity. But Veja’s “no advertising” policy makes it possible to sell trainers at a price which is equal to competitors. The resources saved are integrated into the production chain.

Veja feel that the most important priority is the reduction of emissions and energy use. In order to reduce, they have changed their methods of transportation, organization, production, conditioning and consumption. All Veja trainers are transported by boat from Porto Alegre, Brazil to Le Havre in France. Upon arrival in Le Havre, the trainers travel in barges along the canals to the Parisian suburbs.

Veja’s packaging is made of recycled and recyclable cardboard, with the size of the shoe-box being reduced in 2002 to optimize efficiency.

Veja also uses ENERCOOP (a cooperative of green electricity), in its Headquarters instead of EDF (the French national nuclear energy supplier).

 

Veja also provide additional opportunities by working with The Atelier Sans Frontières association (ASF) which facilitates people facing social exclusion to find work. The association helps them to build a new life and promotes their social, professional and personal development.

Since Veja’s creation, ASF has received all trainers sent from Brazil. ASF stores them and prepares the orders. They are then dispatched to the stores retailing Veja. ASF logisticians are also managing the functional part of our online store. They are in charge of printing, preparing, packing and sending orders. Beyond this partnership with Veja, ASF tries to involve its employees in other tasks.

This includes collecting old sports material and computers and repairing them. Work is adapted to the people depending on their skills and experience. The aim is to aid the employees in their professional career and life projects.

 

To shop Veja please visit us in-store (styles will be available on-line shortly).

Follow Veja on Instagram here

All images, production detail and video via Veja

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