Joan Of Arc, Jean-Paul Marat, Eric Cantona. When it comes to revolutionaries, The French have never been short of them and French footwear brand Veja are no exception. They have been pioneers within their field since the brand germinated in 2005. Their goal is to revolutionise footwear production in an effort to help preserve the planet. This eco-conscious brand produces environmentally friendly sneakers, made with raw materials, sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without harmful chemicals or polluting processes.
Veja are also devoted to fair-trade within the supply chain, and they purchase all their raw materials from farmers they work closely alongside in Brazil. It is this ethos which makes Veja's 3 times more expensive to produce than other big brand sneakers. I’m sure you’ll agree, people getting their fair share for the work they do is an idea to definitely get behind.
Despite all their green and ethical principles, and the wonderful things that they do, they don’t harp on about it. I don’t know about you, but to me that makes them even more sound. This humble attitude reflects in the sneakers themselves, with their subtle, understated excellence. Simple yet attractive silhouettes, with fine, minimal detailing make them versatile when styling, insuring they are an invaluable staple of any wardrobe.
When I buy a product that’s been created with the environment in mind, I naturally expect it to be of a compromised quality. A shoe made from some sort of stitched leaf that will disintegrate when worn for more than 10 minutes and turn your feet green. With Veja though this is not the case, they create a durable, high quality sneaker, and do not substitute comfort or functionality in aid of achieving their vision for a more sustainable product. Which, makes it a win win for all involved.
My favourite model from the range is the V10 (Pictured below). To me it’s everything a Nike Air Force 1 should be, but isn't. It’s slicker and lighter, it looks cleaner on foot and it's even cleaner for the earth. The detailing is crisp and the perforated toe box is a canny little feature which will ensure heads are turned whenever you’re kicking about in them. Another positive is that the toe box doesn’t suffer from that hellish crease like the Air Force 1 does. I’m still not sure if it’s the supreme comfort or the sense that I’m saving the planet which is giving me the spring in my step whenever I’m wearing them.
These sneakers are going to be a must have for the summer so grab yourself a pair before we inevitably sell out (Theres'a a lovely little link here.) Whether you’re wearing them bouncing around Ibiza or you’re just sinking a few in a local, suntrap beer garden, your carbon footprint will have never looked so fresh.