Saturday, September 10, 2016

Introduction to VEJA sneakers - vegan, ethical & earth-friendly

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | | |
Need a new pair of sneakers? Old plastic can be recycled into new, beautiful things - thanks to modern technology :-) You've maybe heard about Patagonia's fleece jackets that are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, or Teeki's yoga pants that are also made from recycled plastic?

When it was time to get a new pair of sneakers I automatically thought about ...... [drumroll, please] - NIKE. Probably not what you'd thought an anti-fast-fashionista would answer, but it's the ugly truth.

I instinctively thought about getting a pair of new sneakers from NIKE because I was used to it.

Finding a better sneaker alternative didn't cross my mind, until I stumbled upon a French brand on Instagram, called VEJA.
Introduction to VEJA sneakers - vegan, ethical and eco-friendly footwear
Introduction to VEJA sneakers - vegan, ethical and eco-friendly footwear

You can get greener alternatives for plenty of things today, but acquiring eco-friendly shoes was not on my list. Simply because I thought that I wouldn't find anything that matched my taste.

I don't want to sacrifice my style just to be earth-friendly or ethical. What's the point of buying something "sustainable" if it doesn't please you somehow?

For my part, I don't buy eco-friendly stuff just because the product is a better alternative for the planet, but also because I sincerely need it - and frankly, it wouldn't hurt if the product had an attractive design. I care for this planet. But I also care about what I wear.

Finally I can wear something that doesn't force me to choose between sustainability and style, and that is VEJA's footwear :-)
Arcade collection from VEJA footwear
Arcade collection from VEJA footwear
 VEJA sneakers - Arcade collection
VEJA sneakers - Arcade collection

I don't know about you, but my first impression of VEJA is that their footwear resembles the design of New Balance sneakers, but they are:
  • Nicer and cooler 
  • The shoes are sustainably and ethically made
  • The shoes are vegan
  • ... A GOOD FIT for my broad feet (NIKE - eat your heart out!!)

Two childhood friends from France started VEJA in 2004, receiving awards along the way. The company works closely with small Brazilian producers, organized in cooperatives that deliver wild rubber and organic cotton from the Amazon.

In fact, 'veja' translates to 'look' in Portugese-Brazilian, meaning that you should look beyond the sneakers - more specifically on how the shoes were made.1

Read: Review of the True Cost movie.

The model I bought belongs to the Arcade collection:
  • The B-mesh is made from recycled plastic bottles
  • 60% of the rubber used in the sole comes from the rainforest in the Amazon
  • Synthetic nubuck leather
  • Inner sole in recycled cotton
  • The logo is made from wild rubber

VEJA's concept fits right into the urban dweller's everyday living, showing that you can look awesome with minimal impact on the planet :-)
French brand VEJA - vegan, ethical and eco-friendly sneakers
French brand VEJA - vegan, ethical and eco-friendly sneakers

Sounds promising, right?

The only thing I'm concerned about, which my beau also commented on, is the quality. How good is the quality considering that the shoes contain recycled plastic? It remains to be seen :-)

Read: How to build a sustainable wardrobe (from scratch).

More eye-candy from VEJA:
Check out the shoes here.
Check out the shoes here.
Check out the shoes here.
Check out the shoes here.

Continue to read:
Sustainable outfit of the month - The Green Fox (outfit for forest).

Review: The Fashion Documentary "Dior and I".

1 Highsnobiety: Meet the most ethical sneaker brand in the world.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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