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In Greenblut FM Episode Number 17 we speak with Guest Sebastien Kopp from French Sneaker Brand VEJA. Sebastien started VEJA together with his best friend 2004 in Paris.
VEJA is a brand of ecological and fair trade footwear and accessories that works with cooperatives of small producers and social associations in Brazil and France. The soles of VEJA shoes are unique, as they are made of natural fair trade rubber from the Amazonas. Most of the uppers are made of organic cotton.
I have met Sebastien for the first time in 2005 or 2006 after VEJA was just started. Both founders had no Shoe making experience and they only offered a small line of canvas sneakers. Their production mode seemed crazy …….in a time when most brands moved their shoe production to Asia they were sourcing and producing in the brazilian jungle.
Today VEJA is a very successful growing brand. VEJA shoes are sold in the best stores allover the world, but best of all, they still work with the same producers they had started with in 2005. I am looking forward to my interview with Sebastian and I am curious to listen to the VEJA story
in this episode we talk about:
- 2 bankers quit their job and start an ethical sneaker brand
- working with Altereco
- from student to entrepreneur
- a generation hacked by the Internet
- how to develop a brand without formal knowledge
- you can do whatever you want if you follow what you want
- understand the consumer
- a trip to Brazil
- organic cotton and fair trade cotton
- working in the field with the producers
- follow the path of production
- create a better production from A-Z
- Why Veja is not using advertising
- why Veja production costs are 5 times higher than regular shoe brands
- Design + Economics = Success
- real stories vs artificial stories
- learn to walk before you run
- how Veja started with only 10000€ of investment and a loan
- add 100% of yourself into the Brand
- how they started Centre Commercial in Paris
Links mentioned in this Episode:
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It all started with research project for one of our clients.We had a research at the competitive environment for green denim brands. We had expected many new relevant brands but we found it difficult to locate these brands. The market seemed to be the same than 10 years ago. Ok some brands disappeared, but overall the changes were minor.
To stay on track with relevant brands we decided to create highly subjective simple lists for major areas of the green/sustainable clothing and lifestyle market.
Today we present our first curated Top 10 list of Green, Sustainable and Ethical Denim Brands.
There are many lists about Green or Ethical Brands available like this or this or this project or this .The problem we find with most of these databases is that they are too broad and overwhelming. As a result, they are not relevant for consumers who prefer a balance of choice, quality and availability.
That’s why we started with a Top 10 list where the readers and users can vote for their favorite brands.If you miss a brand you love please write a link in the comments section. If you think that there are better brands, please comment as we might change the list from time to time.