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Inside Veja's Fair And Sustainable Supply Chain

by: Rosie Dalton | 1 month ago | Features

Image: Sr Manoel, a cotton producer in Ceará. Image source.

Founded by Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion in 2004, Veja advocates for eco-farming and positive workers’ rights. This progressive French brand has changed the way we think about the fashion supply chain. So here, we walk through their fair, sustainable, and transparent supply chain.

Cotton production
In Brazil’s economically disadvantaged state of Ceará, Veja supports the employment of more than 200 families. Through buying organic and fairtrade cotton directly, Veja ensures the survival of farmers and the environment. Unlike conventional cotton farming, organic cotton actually helps improve soil health and biodiversity. For over 15 years Veja has also worked closely with ADEC, an association of growers located in Tauá, Brazil. This allows them to cut out the middleman and increase producer income, by negotiating an agreed-upon cotton price per kilo and providing a fair trade premium on top of this.

Wild rubber harvesting
For their soles, Veja sources wild rubber by working with an association of seringeiros (rubber tappers) inside the Chico Mendès extractive reserve, in the Brazilian state of Acre. “The Amazon is the only place on earth where rubber trees grow in the wild,” Veja explains. So it is here that the brand has struck up relationships with 120 families to harvest wild rubber for their soles. Veja soles are made of 20-30% natural rubber and, by using these materials, Veja helps to increase the economic value of the forest in order to protect it.

Shoe assembly
Veja’s assembly takes place at a Brazilian factory in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. "In the clothing and fashion industries, the factory is often where all global economic dysfunction is focused: unsafe, even unsanitary working conditions, highly eroded wages and little concern for the environment," Veja explains. Which is why the brand manufactures in factories and workshops where International Labour Organization (ILO) rules are followed, along with additional criteria, like proximity to quality housing and freedom of expression.

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