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Harry Q&A: VEJA, the World’s Most Ethical Sneakers

We chatted with the VEJA team about the brand’s ethical production practices that have made it one of the hottest sneaker brands in the world.

By: Logan RossDate: 2024-03-14

  • Three white VEJA sneakers with orange and black stripes on them
  • Four pairs of VEJA sneakers stacked on top of each other

Q: What inspired VEJA’s unique designs, and how does the brand balance style and design with ecological materials?

Considering various aspects, each VEJA design is the product of our honest answer to the question, “What do we want to wear?” It’s about creating something that will endure over time. Today, each style is influenced by the world around us—our search process considers art, music, and fashion, all naturally influencing each model. On the other hand, we also consider the design and durability, which is inherent in VEJA. We aim to design models that are simple and involve as few stages and processes as possible.

Q: How does VEJA ensure transparency in its supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to production?

Basically, we make sure we have a clear understanding of every stage involved in the supply chain. We do this a few ways.

We start with direct sourcing. We talk directly to suppliers and producers, cutting out the middlemen. This way, we know exactly where our raw materials come from. It also helps us enhance conditions for those involved in making sneakers throughout the production chain. We also share all the information about our supply chain. This openness lets customers understand the ethical and environmental choices behind each product. We share details about things like water use and carbon emissions, working to reduce our ecological footprint.

We place heavy focus on traceable raw materials like organic cotton Amazonian rubber, we can trace them back to their source. This means we understand every step in the production chain, especially the important details about how and where we get these raw materials. We're also all about fair trade. We make sure everyone in the production process is treated well and paid fair wages.

Lastly, VEJA seeks certifications from independent organizations, like organic and Fair-Trade certifications, to show our products meet specific ethical standards.

Q: How does VEJA’s sourcing of wild rubber from the Amazon rainforest positively impact the local communities and ecosystems?

We buy wild rubber directly from local communities, ensuring they get a fair exchange. It's not about business; it's about respecting and preserving traditions that have been part of these communities for generations. Our focus is the Amazon's ecosystem. We source our rubber in a way that doesn't harm the natural diversity. Instead of going for big plantations, we choose wild rubber to help protect trees from being cut down.

But we're not just buyers; we're actively involved. We support community projects and, beyond transactions, we train the community in rubber tapping, providing them with jobs so we can make a real, positive impact.

This Spring at Harry’s: The VEJA Volley

VEJA’s very first sneaker took inspiration from 1970s Brazilian volleyball shoes, and it was immediately a hit. Nearly 20 years later, it’s back and available in-store and online at