Photo: Tiraden / Wikipedia Commons
of editorial staff
That’s why we see little advertising of Veja
The cut V of the shoe brand Veja adorns millions of sneakers around the world. But where does this brand come from?
How sustainable is it really? Four fixed points.
Suddenly, we see it everywhere: the cut V adorning the sides of Veja’s white eco-sneakers. She is at the feet of Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and Emma Watson as well as those of millions of other people around the world. Every year, Veja sells more than two million pairs of shoes¹.
But how sustainable can it really be? And where does this brand come from? Here are four key points.
1. Veja was founded by two dissatisfied bankers
Veja’s founders, Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion, were both working as bankers in the United States when they decided to leave the industry in 2003. “We were 23 at the time and we were dissatisfied with our job as we worked for a system that was constantly talking about money and how to make more of it,” explains Kopp². The two founded an NGO with which they wanted to advise companies on the issue of sustainability. during their travels in China. India and Brazil realized that the stories told by companies did not correspond to reality. Suddenly it was clear: to make a real difference, they would have to start a business themselves.
2. Veja does not advertise
The founders of Veja were faced with a fundamental question: how can shoes be produced which are competitively priced but nobody is harmed during production? The answer lies in advertising. Or rather: in not advertising. On his website Veja writes³: advertising is responsible for 70 percent of the costs incurred by the major sneaker brands. By eliminating it, these funds can be invested in fair production conditions and environmentally friendly materials. The founder of Veja Kopp comments on the decision against advertising: “We don’t have to invent our own stories, they are already extraordinary.”
3. Veja is more sustainable than other brands but it’s not perfect
Can a product that sells millions of pieces be truly sustainable? The short answer is: not sustainable but more sustainable. To be a little more verbose: Veja claims to attach great importance to transparency, to pay its workers fairly and, where possible, to use organic or recycled materials. For a long time, Veja was criticized for not being able to produce certificates. Meanwhile, at least some of Veja’s cotton has been certified4; as «Global Organic Textile Standard» and comes at least 70 percent from organic farming.
Founder Kopp candidly admits5: «We are not perfect.» The brand communicates6 in full transparency that between 2015 and 2016, due to the drought, she had to use recycled cotton instead of organic cotton and that she had to go back to using conventional dyes because she was not satisfied with the quality of the natural pigments. Also, according to Cosmopolitan7 one out of three Veja sneakers is vegan.
4. Veja proves it: sneaker brands could be more sustainable
When Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion founded Veja, they didn’t have any fashion experience, but both wanted to found a company that produced fairly and sustainably. One day they came to the conclusion that the ideal product could be a sneaker. For Kopp, Veja’s success is more than just a good story. It is proof that a fair and ecological fashion industry is possible: “if two Frenchmen have succeeded with no idea of shoes, fashion or anything else, then all the big brands can do it too.”
MENDRISIO13 hoursSerious accident on the tracks in San Martino: trains are running again
LOWER MUFF18 hoursLeave the apartment in a pitiful state and without paying
LUGANO1 dayBurn the Gazzirola
SAN BERNARDINO (GR)7 hoursHead-on on the A13: three injured and traffic blocked
SWISS1 dayA beating for a million people
LUGANO3 daysHuge crowds at the Manor in Lugano for Michelle Hunziker
SWISS2 daysTraffic blocked at the Gotthard: congested traffic
CANTON / SWITZERLAND5 hours“It’s a busy night ahead”
ROVEREDO (GR)13 hoursRave Party in Roveredo: «There was no reason to intervene»
SCHAffhausen2 daysThere’s an eco-monster threatening the Rhine Falls
OF THE2 daysNo playoffs and… a clean sweep: (as many as) eleven players
CANTON12 hoursGroup abuse, three on the stand: “She was very pushed, she was not forced”
ITALY1 daySteal a handful of coins from the Trevi Fountain, stopped a Swiss
BELLINZONA2 daysNice sold out!
CANTON7 hoursHarassed at the football party: “A herd that gave vent to the basest instincts”
LUGANO18 hoursWhen the easy way becomes a barrier
FCL extension2 daysThe “herd” has arrived: around 1,500 Zurich fans in the streets of Lugano
UNIVERSE6 hoursIt’s huge and could come at us
WAR IN UKRAINE1 dayAll is not well inside the Kremlin
WAR IN UKRAINE2 daysThe leader of the mercenaries Wagner wants to succeed Zelensky
ZURICH3 daysFrom feet on the tram seat to punch in the face
YVERDON-LES-BAINS (VD)1 day«Setting fire to the house is the definitive negation of the family»
YVERDON-LES-BAINS2 daysFire in Yverdon, family drama hypothesis
LUGANO1 dayFire on the Gazzirola: 60,000 square meters burned
CANTON1 dayThe “49 is practiced” in Ticino
CANTON2 days«Ticino moves forward at a snail’s pace»
SWISS15 hoursMore and more girls decide to have their breasts removed
YVERDON-LES-BAINS 1 dayEmotion and shock, the messages of the companions of the three little victims
BELLINZONA3 daysThis is where a futuristic Migros will be born
VALAIS2 daysAvalanche in Valais, two victims not yet identified
PARIS2 days“Messi doesn’t give a damn about PSG”
Oscars 202314 hoursNo makeup and ripped jeans, Lady Gaga excites during the Oscars
AGNO1 dayMassive crowds for San Provino
BIASCA1 dayFirefighters, train new group leaders
CHALLENGE LEAGUE1 dayBellinzona, another disaster
SWISS1 daySwiss chocolate less and less “Swiss”
CANTON2 daysTrain stopped between Vezia and Camorino: delays and cancellations on the line
SWISS1 daySwitzerland throws away hundreds of (working) missiles
SWISS2 daysWorld record for the Knie circus
ECONOMY9 hoursThree Bank Failures in a Row: Is Money Still Safe in Banks?
LOCARNO1 dayA great Macedonian party in Locarno
SWISS1 daySwiss less sympathetic to Ukrainian refugees
ITALY3 daysLorella Cuccarini’s secret: «No bread, no regrets»
HCL extension7 hoursLugano punished: no flags and drums in Geneva
LUGANO1 dayVictorious Army and Legacy Army at the Palazzo dei Congressi
CANTON3 daysMany radars in the Lugano area, few in the valleys
A LEAGUE1 day«In Florence they made fun of me…»
CANTON4 daysManuele Bertoli is in the hospital
ALPINE SKIING17 hoursShiffrin and Odermatt, what a couple!
LUGANO3 days“The risk of accidents and collisions was high”
Mobility3 daysSharing instead of buying
lifestyle1 weekCircular economy
lifestyle1 weekIs vegan or classic leather better?
Innovation & energy2 weeksThe self-taught who revolutionized plastics
Innovation & energy3 weeksSustainable air traffic
lifestyle3 weeksFuture Fashion
lifestyle1 monthGreenpick Pass
Diet1 monthZero Waste
Innovation & energy1 monthThe wind farm that does not slaughter birds