Manufacturing sneakers with a difference
Ever Since VEJA was created, their sneakers have always been made in the same place: the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. Over time, a real partnership has developed between the brand and the assembly plant.
VEJA = LOOK in Portuguese.
VEJA manufactures its sneakers a few hours away from Porto Alegre - Brazil, in factories and workshops where ILO rules are followed. To guarantee work that meets VEJA's requirements, additional criteria need to be met, such as :
- Proximity and quality of housing
- The freedom to form groups to defend their rights
- Standard of living and purchasing power parity
- Employee benefits and freedom of expression
And with respect to the sneaker factory they've been working with since 2005, 40% of employees live close to the factory, while 60% live in neighboring towns and cities, no more than 47 km away. The factory also provides a communal bus service.
They all have adequate housing (electricity, water...) which isn't owned by the factory.
80% of them are unionized.
Factory employees have 4 weeks of paid vacation per year, work 40 hours per week, schedules are regulated (7h30 - 16h30), and Saturdays and Sundays are days off.
Overtime is paid and on average, a labourer won't work more than 2 hours of overtime in one day, usually during high season. Moreover, they get a bonus at the end of the year.
Each employee contributes between 7 and 11% of their salary to the INSS (government retirement plan). In case of the employee is laid off or quits, the contribution amount belongs to the employee.
Always striving to do better
VEJA pushes these suppliers towards ever more transparency. VEJA requires the manufacturing plant to perform recurring social audits and chemical tests.
Every year, they perform a social audit to make sure their factories respect Veja's values and meet their criteria, and to identify the areas where they can still improve and do better.
balance in global trade
Fair trade is one of the three fundamental pillars VEJA is build on. Cotton and rubber are purchased directly from producers in Brazil. They sign 1-year contracts with them and set a market-decorrelated price. It's one of the ways to ensure more equitable and dignified commercial transactions.
For VEJA, Fair Trade means working directly with producers and thus cutting out the middleman. It also means pre-financing harvests as much as 40%. In other words, they buy organic cotton a year before it's transformed into sneakers.
The mutually agreed price is set in 1- to 3-year contracts with producer families. That way, the producers know how much they will earn from the harvest before planting a single seed. They also set a market-decorrelated price per kilo of organic cotton or rubber to make sure producers can live decently and reinvest in their farm.
Veja increases producer income.
1 out of 4 VEJA models are 100% vegan.
Out of the 81 models included in the 2018 collection, 20 models don't contain any products of animal origin.
They are actively searching for an alternative to leather with environmentally friendly materials.
At allTRUEist we are committed to carrying only their vegan collection. 2019 is the first run with plans on expanding the brand selection.
Reality, not fiction - NO ADS
VEJA is based on a very simple observation: 70% of the cost of a normal big sneaker brand is related to advertising.
Eliminating ads, marketing costs, doing away with brand ambassadors, billboards, means investing in reality rather than fiction. It means working back up the production chain and changing it. It means spending more time on the ground, rather than investing in smoke and mirrors.
It costs 5 to 7 times more to make a VEJA, because the raw materials are environmentally friendly and purchased according to fair trade principles, because the sneakers are produced in factories with high social standards.
Since they eliminated advertising, the sneaker is sold in stores for the same price as competing big brands.
At VEJA, instead of relying on marketing hype to have an impact, they rather rely on collective intelligence!
Sebastien Kopp & François-Ghislain Morillion
VEJA is about minimalism and innovation.
Headquartered in France - Made in Brazil.
Logistics and shipping run by Ateliers Sans Frontières, a rehabilitation association.