Fabrication

In the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, a few hours from Porto Alegre

The Veja trainers are made in factories located in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, a well-developed region in South Brazil. Workers’ rights are respected and extra hours are paid. The factories have become real partners for us over the past years we have been working with them. Our continuously evolving standards push them to adapt and constantly improve the fabrication conditions. Social audits carried out in the factories as part of the certification process (FLO-Cert and Ecolabel) have also encouraged this progress.

Behind the trainers: who makes the trainers?

Veja works with factories close to Porto Alegre. Most of the employees are part of a community of German descendants who arrived at the end of the 19th century.

Compliance with the core ILO Labour Standards is not enough to guarantee dignity at work. Other criteria must be taken into account, such as the workers:

  • freedom to gather and stand for their rights
  • quality and proximity to their dwellings
  • standards of living and purchasing power parity
  • social benefits and employees’ free speech rights

Concerning the sneakers factory we’ve been working with since 2005, 60% of the workers live in towns and villages surrounding the factory (47km being the farest one), the other 40% live near the factory. The factory has pre-arranged coach services.

All of them own decent standard houses (water, electricity etc…).80% of them are union members. The average wage of the factory workers was equivalent to 238 Euros a month in 2010. A premium was also paid at the end of the year.

The legal minimum wage for the shoe industry in Brazil was 205 euros a month in 2010.

The factory employees are entitled to 4 weeks’ paid holiday and they do not work on bank holidays.

Overtime is paid. On average, an employee works a maximum of 2 hours extra a day. This is only the case in high season.

Each employee contributes 7 to 11% of his salary to INSS (Governmental Pension Scheme). In case of redundancies or resignations, the contributed sum belongs to them.

Social Audits

Two social audits have been carried out in the factories of our partners as part of the FAIRTRADE certification process.

The different departments of the factories and the fabrication workshops (cutting, sewing, soles, assembling chains, etc…) have been audited in 2008 and 2009 in accordance with the FLO-Cert standard requirements.

See below the results of the last audits:

The audits have allowed the factory to improve the fabrication standards.

*For confidentiality reasons the name of our partner, the names of the employees and the names of the auditors have been protected.

A new partner

For the production of our spring-summer 2014 collection, we have been working with a new factory. This factory is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, South Brazil, an area that we know well and where we have been working for the past 10 years.

The state is ranked 5th out of the 27 Brazilian states for its Human Development Index which is fairly high (0.746 from 2010 latest data).

We have started to work with this factory mid-year 2013. This short period of time has not enabled us yet to conduct social audits involving a third party. Nevertheless we have 2 people of our teams who are based in Brazil and visit the factory on a daily basis.

A social audit will be scheduled soon.

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