A chance meeting in childhood, an investigation into corporate social responsibility and...wild Amazonian rubber? While these ingredients may seem pretty dissimilar, they’ve been expertly combined into a recipe for eco-friendly success. The master "chefs" behind this globally green concoction have cooked up something that’s shaking up the fashion world (and plenty of other places): sustainable sneakers that are as outfit friendly as they are kind to the environment. That’s the premise behind Veja, the footwear brainchild of Sebastien Kopp and Francois-Ghislain Morillion.
In today's world, sustainability is more important than ever, and many companies are creating products or enacting policies that aim to make less of an impact on the environment. Sustainability in fashion is also becoming more important to consumers looking to buy products and support companies that are helping — not hurting — the planet for future generations. But that’s just one reason why the independent fashion brand from France is becoming quite popular with celebrities and other customers. Veja’s footwear is casual and comfortable, too, so you’ll find plenty of reasons to love adding a pair or two of these classically cool kicks to your wardrobe.
Why Veja Is One of the Top Sustainable Sneaker Brands in the World
Kopp and Morillion founded Veja in 2005 after starting a nonprofit that analyzed the social responsibility policies of companies around the world. The childhood friends grew up together in France and worked in the finance industry before forming their NGO, which saw them visiting various clothing and food factories in South America, Asia and Australia to study whether those factories were engaging in ethical practices. During these trips, Kopp and Morillion realized the footwear industry was missing something: the drive to create durable footwear in a more innovative and ecologically responsible way.
A Low Top for Faster Mobility
What’s more sustainable than getting the most wear possible out of a pair of shoes? Considering the brand's focus is sustainability, Veja offers a range of stylish shoes created for (and that can stand up to) day-to-day activities and long-term wear. One of these designs, the Veja Esplar Low Sneaker, is a clean-lined, minimalist shoe that’s virtually guaranteed to go with everything thanks to its retro athletic styling. It’s made of 33% organic cotton and 67% recycled polyester, which sticks to Veja's mission of creating sustainable shoes. Fans of the shoe have noted that the Esplar sneakers need time to break in but are quite comfortable and easy to move around in once that’s happened.
A Hightop for More Ankle Protection
Veja Roraima Sneakers offer a little more ankle protection and warmth than the Esplar sneakers thanks to their high-top design that blends hiking and skater styles for a supportive, retro silhouette. The shoe's inner lining is created with flannel and recycled cotton and polyester for some added coziness in colder weather. The outer calfskin gives the shoes a more rugged look that appears prime for outdoor activities; however, this is still meant to be more of a fashion shoe that provides a bit of extra comfort than Veja's low-top options.
A Popular Option for Eco-friendly and Sustainable Fans
One of the most popular options that the brand offers is its Veja V-10 Sneaker. Fans rave over this style of the shoe, which comes in various colors like white, pink and even a vibrant, metallic finish called "Unicorn." Pictured here is the "Nautico," with its red and blue details that recall the coloring on nautical flags and sailboats and give these shoes a preppy edge.
Veja offers a variety of running shoes if you’re looking to get or stay active while making more sustainable choices. One popular option is the Veja Women's x Rick Owens Runner Style Sneaker in Wool Beige, which was a popular collaborative effort between the brand and the fashion designer Rick Owens, who’s known for his glam-goth-grunge sensibilities.
Veja Training Shoes for Children
Veja doesn't leave out the little ones when it comes to its footwear offerings. Though the brand offers a few laced sneakers for children who’ve mastered tying the bunny’s ears, many of its sneaker options for the younger crowd have Velcro closures, like the Veja Small V-12 Low-Top Velcro Trainers for Girls. Resembling the V-10s but in petite proportions, the shoes are cute and also easy for both kids and parents to put on.