Price of cotton purchased
On average, we purchased our cotton
twice as much as market price in 2017.
Our VEJA sneakers cost 5 times more to produce than big brand sneakers. Because we use fair trade and organic raw materials, because they are more economically equitable for all parties involved in the production chain, because we invest in research and new technologies.
The whole stock of our Parisian shop and e-shop is handled by ASF employees.
Atelier Sans Frontières promotes the professional integration of people who are excluded from the labour market, by offering them a suitable paid job, personalized social support, and helping them develop a career plan.
They are responsible for receiving the sneakers shipped from Brazil, organizing their warehousing, preparing orders and shipping them.
Preparing a V-10 BlackAtelier Sans Frontières, 2017
© Studio VEJA
Since 2004, we have been applying fair trade principles on the ground. In other words, we work directly with producers and cut out the middleman.
All of our cotton has been certified organic since VEJA was launched. Our new Peruvian partner is also certified.
Every year, we check the chemical safety of our sneakers to ensure we have eliminated all hazardous chemicals from our production processes. In other words, we selected the most frequently used hazardous chemicals in the fashion industry and we test them on our sneakers to make sure they don't contain any of these noxious, toxic or polluting elements.
Dmitri Mendeleiev's Periodic Table
© Dmarcus100 / Wikimedia
© Studio VEJA 2017
To do so, every season we choose 5 models from our collection to serve as a reference. One pair from each model is then selected at random during production. These test models are then taken apart, and each component is literally crushed into powder with a grinder.
These powders are used to confirm and measure the absence or presence of the prohibited or regulated chemical compounds frequently used in the fashion industry. Furthermore, we have banned the use of any form of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in our products. In fact, this material has already been phased out of our supply chain.
That's what happened a few years ago when in one of our brown suede sneakers, we found a chemical that wasn't prohibited, but regulated because it was considered a potential hormone disrupter.
VEJA's 'preferred' materials
In 2020, from all the textiles and leathers VEJA used, 85% are considered environmentally 'preferred' raw materials.
VEJA considers recycled PET, organic cotton, ChromeFree leather, organic jute, C.W.L., and recycled cotton as 'preferred' materials.
This material is laminated (or bonded) to the back of the fabric to make it more durable, resilient, and strong.
VEJA’s textiles and leather consumption in 2020
The Esplar model
Organic cotton: 9% of the total weight
Amazonian rubber: 8% of the total weight
Other 'preferred' materials, such as rice waste, EVA from sugar cane, and recycled materials: 29%
*Leather was not considered a 'preferred' material, and it represents 20% of the shoes’ total weight
Esplar ChromeFree White Absinthe Butter-sole
© Studio VEJA
What is B Corp ?
B Corp is a certification that evaluates VEJA global impact. B Corp is about 300 open and very detailed questions about the company. Very detailed questions about the wages, the suppliers, the team, the environment, the workplace or the governance.
We decided to undertake this certification to improve VEJA in many ways. As the 2 founders started the VEJA project very young, they had no experience, guidelines or examples to follow. They were very unexperienced managers, and set up the company on instinct rather than by the book. Since day one, their goal was to create the company that they would have loved to work for. In terms of tasks, responsibilities, level of wages, equality.
Now that the VEJA team is more than a 150 talented people, B corp is a good way of testing VEJA through reality. We took almost one year to go through all the questions, and some weak points appeared. For example, the governance of VEJA is not that great. There is no board, no investors and a lot of decisions into the 2 founders’ hands.
So B Corp will help us to know and underline our weakness as a project, and to create better goals and rules. It already gave us many ideas easy to implement: for example, we would like to lengthen the paternity leave. We will share them with you along the way. It validated also a lot of good news: for example, the money gender gap: 4 out of the 5 highest earners in the company are women.
But there is still a long way to go. And B Corp will help us on this journey. VEJA is proud to be part of this group, that counts long term role models such as Patagonia.
Manufacturing plantPorto Alegre, 2019
© Arthur Wollenveber
This code clarifies an organization's mission, values, and principles, and a commitment to ourselves to remain honest and responsible in our actions and decisions.
VEJA qualifies its direct suppliers and all their factory workers on the code of conduct.
To recognize a situation and to be able to denounce it, each supplier employee counts with training on the subject.
We want to create an environment where everyone feels free to speak up.
Any request or non-compliance with its application can be addressed through several communication channels.
Email address: email@example.com
In 2020, VEJA did not receive any complaints.
This document states the VEJA code of conduct in Portuguese, the local language.
The document contains the contact details for complaints, where workers can inform about overtime or canceled holidays or other problems regarding worker's rights related to VEJA orders.
If a complaint arises and VEJA is responsible due to improper planning, changes at short notice, or similar reasons, we would re-check our processes and strategies even more to avoid such consequences in the future.
For all other causes, we would discuss with suppliers how to improve to avoid it from happening again.
© Studio VEJA 2017
We also test, under the same conditions, the mechanical properties of our shoes.
Repeated movements (bending, friction, etc.) are carried out by machines on pairs of control sneakers selected at random. We then measure sole wear, seam resistance, etc.