French eco-fashion label Veja is now available at Selfridges
How much did your last pair of trainers set you back? Probably a fair few pennies, which is why it may shock you to hear that around 70% of the cost would have gone on advertising alone, leaving a pitiful amount to the people at the bottom who actually made them.
Hot fashion label Veja are on a mission to change this, producing über cool trainers from wild Amazon rubber and paying a fair trade wage to the local producers they work with.
The range features a stunning mix of retro-styled trainers that have been primarily designed to look good, as well as fly the eco flag.
Sebastian Kopp, co-founder of Veja, believes that fair trade is not an act of charity, but is all about ‘commercial disobedience’.
‘We want Veja trainers to be next to other sneakers brands in stores where consumers normally shop. The primary goal is that consumers buy the trainers because they like them’ he says.
The company are hoping that their unique brand of stylish footwear will be the answer to several ecological issues at once, including deforestation, exhaustion of natural resources and exploitation of workers.
‘The classical system is focused on low prices that depreciate the human aspect. The result is that many farmers cannot live on their activity and workmen have very bad working conditions and do not benefit from any social protection,’ says Kopp.
Veja pay their producers up to 100% more than the world market price and reduce their costs by minimising marketing and advertising the brand.
Check out this season’s gorgeous range here.
Only available in selected stores, Veja are now on sale in Selfridges, London.
See the latest issue of Marie Claire as Lily Allen travels to the Brazilian rainforest and meet the makers of Veja.