Story

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.

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At the heart of the project

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.

When, after finding our cotton and rubber suppliers, VEJA was looking for a manufacturing location, Brazil was the obvious choice. The country couples robust industries with high added social value.

Workers are well-compensated and live in normal conditions. Nothing to do with Southeast Asian countries which manufacture 95% of the world's sneakers.

Porto Alegre

© Felipe Valduga

Tannerie

V-12 and Wata models on the assembly lineManufacturing plant, Porto Alegre, 2017

© Studio VEJA

What's the average monthly salary of a sneaker factory employee in 2017 ?

In VEJA factories

1 335 R$

Minimum wage in Brazil

937 R$

V-10

V-10
Assembling the upper before adding the sole.
Porto Alegre, 2015

© Studio VEJA

VEJA manufactures its sneakers a few hours away from Porto Alegre, 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 we'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, we perform a social audit to make sure our factories respect our values and meet our criteria, and to identify the areas where we could still improve and do better.

V-12 B-Mesh White Pierre<

V-12 B-Mesh White PierreLookbook Spring-Summer 2018

© Vincent Desailly

Following this audit, a corrective action plan is submitted to rectify the few points that still need improving.

Each of our contractors signs VEJA's quality guidelines, which they are commited to follow.