As a teenager, I spent a lot of time sailing pretty much lived in my deck shoes both onland and off land. They were super comfy and easy to wear but were never quite as colourful as these fantastic ones by ethical shoe brand Veja. The summer collection is called Mediterranee and is made from two tone organic cotton with vulcanized wild rubber soles.
Veja also have some fantastic trainers sneaker (or daps as they call them here in the West Country), with a fantastic retro style inspired by running tennis and Volley ball shoes.
The brand has a vision simple vision where another world is possible. They are inventing new ways to work that use ecologically friendly materials including organic and Fairtrade cotton from North East Brazil, vegetable tanned leathers and natural latex and a global chain which respects workers diginity. The brand also minimises its environmental impact and carbon emmissions at many levelsi ncluding energy use, transportation and packaging but they openly and honestly admit there limitations which include that the pigments used for dying leather, rubber and cotton, are not made from natural products. By reading the brands website you can begin to understand the huge challenges which face ethical shoe and fashion brands but it is great to see that Veja are taking postive steps in working towards their companies vision.
And here is the bit that is really interesting! Veja does not advertise. The resources saved are integrated into the production chain. This means the farmers and producers Veja works with are fairly remunerated – to accomodate their social and environmental requirements.
Veja have been shortlisted for Observer Ethical Awards in the Fashion and accessories category which is sponsored by Vogue. They have some really tough competition in this categroy with Ada Zandition and Bottle Top, both of which create pieces that are desirable beyond just their ethics (as is Veja). The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 30th May. Would Veja get your vote?
With warmest wishes
Ceri xPin It