Two guys from France were doing an audit on a Chinese factory that made running shoes in an attempt to utilize a company that not only treats it’s employees fair, but also provides them with safe living conditions. All seemed okay when they visited the factory, but they then asked to see where the employees lived, and that’s where the story takes a dramatic shift. The employees were living in stacked bunks crammed in a small space and the bathroom facilities were deplorable, so they decided to take matters into their own hands and make the sneaker themselves. That became the beginning for the creation of a sustainable shoe that was also made with safe ingredients ( many runners are poisonous to the environment) and VEJA was born. Not only is Veja sourcing their own materials, they are a Certified B Corp and the cost of making their product is five times more expensive to produce, yet they keep their costs down by not advertising! Regular runners have a budget that is 70% advertising and 30% goes into the making of the shoe and goodness knows how those employees that make the shoe are treated.
Fair Trade and responsibly sourced materials are Vejas mantra. All sneakers are sourced and produced in Brazil.
At the end of the day, we all wear sneakers of some kind, maybe we should start to focus more on supporting companies that care about what goes into making that shoe, then what page they pay to be on in a magazine.
Please visit http://www.veja-store.com to read up on how VEJA sneakers are made. Photos taken from the VEJA website and Pinterest. Available online and in YYC at Gravity Pope http://www.gravitypope.com and Holt Renfrew http://Www.holtfenrew.com