Frankly, the first time I saw Veja shoes I immediately thought they were vegan, mostly because the logo/branding on the shoes is represented by the letter V, but naturally that doesn’t show the whole story.
Veja is a superb brand with ecological and ethical values, but it’s not a vegan brand, as it still sells shoes with leather and suede, both fabrics derived from animal skin.
In this article, I’ll talk about Veja as a brand, and I’m also going to check whether they have vegan shoes.
What is Veja and is it Any Good?
Veja is a French shoe brand that believes in transparency, organic materials, and fair trade sourcing, therefore they take into consideration the planet and its people.
They use a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including organic cotton, b-mesh (which is made from recycled polyester), jute, and C.W.L, which is a vegan alternative to leather that uses cotton but is coated with PU, corn starch, and Ricinus oil.
Its use of eco-friendly materials reduces its climate impact and limits the number of chemicals, water, and wastewater during production.
They’re also considered an ethical brand. Veja has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles, including the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labor, the abolition of child labor, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
They also monitor all health and safety issues by visiting all of their final stage of production suppliers, and they also ensure that throughout the entire supply chain, the workers actually receive a living wage.
Therefore, it’s certainly a brand that I would buy from if I had a good selection of vegan products.
Are Veja Shoes Vegan?
As I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, Veja is not a 100% vegan brand as it still makes shoes with animal fabric but they have many vegan options.
They have over 100 vegan-friendly shoe options, including kid sizes. To replace leather they use C.W.L, a vegan leather alternative made from cotton that is coated with PU, corn, and Ricinus oil. It’s not highly sustainable because it contains PU, but it’s a more ethical alternative that is suitable for vegans.
Due to the use of fair trade and organic raw materials, Veja shoes cost 5 times more to produce than big brand sneakers. However, that allows the brand to be more economically fair to all the parties involved in the production chain, while the consumer will obviously pay a higher price for the product.
If you’re actually making a difference by buying Veja shoes, and this means not exploiting humans, animals, and taking it easier on nature, then I’d say the $150 per shoe is worth it.
Naturally, not everyone will be able to afford Veja shoes, but for those that badly need shoes and can afford them, they’re more sustainable than buying cheap low-quality shoes.
Which Veja Shoes Are Vegan?
Veja has a rich selection of vegan shoes, but some of the Veja shoes that I come across remind me of the classic New Balance sneakers. Therefore, you could say that Veja is a more eco-friendly and ethical version of New Balance, especially if you only considered those shoes.
Still, Veja has so much variety, and I’ll show four different pairs of shoes that are also the most popular.
Veja V-10 CWL Sneakers
The Veja V-10 CWL is probably the most popular Veja shoe, which is not surprising considering the very clean, yet sophisticated design. It features a 100% organic cotton upper coated with polyester, corn starch, and Ricinus oil, and it also contains other materials such as wild rubber which is used to construct the insole, as well as recycled polyester that is used for the lining alongside more organic cotton.
Veja Urca CWL Sneakers
While the Orca has a slightly different design, it is still within the clean, cool category. The upper and the panels are made with CWL and the logo with vegan suede. The inner lining is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and the insole is created from sugar cane, Amazonian rubber, organic cotton, and recycled E.V.A, which stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate.
Veja Nova Sneakers
Nova is a lightweight canvas shoe made with fair trade organic cotton upper. This model is considerably less expensive than the aforementioned models, but it also uses fewer materials. It’s also an option but it’s not as durable as it’s mostly made from organic cotton.
Veja Condor 2 Sneakers
The Veja Condor sneaker was created in 2019 as the first post-petroleum running shoe, and the Condor 2 comes as an upgrade of the original.
The upper is built from Alveomesh (100% recycled plastic bottles), and the panels are made in T.P.U. It comes with a heel support insert made entirely of Rinicius oil, and the same goes for the V logo. The insole is a mix of sugar cane and recycled plastic bottles, the midsole is a mix of sugar cane and banana oil, and the outsole is comprised of Amazonian rubber, rice waste, and synthetic rubber.
The cushioning technology is a mix of synthetic and natural latex, which still makes this shoe considerably more eco-friendly than any other on the market.
While it’s true that Veja could do a lot more to avoid animal fabric, it’s a brand that’s making an effort in that direction as its vegan collection is rapidly growing.
Unfortunately, Veja uses materials like leather or suede, but it’s clear that they’ve gained the support of many vegans, and that is having an impact on their choice of materials, which we can visualize with the application of fabrics such as CWL, vegan suede, and other plant-based materials.
Also, unlike brands that simply opt for polyester and call themselves vegan, Veja is visibly transparent, as well as more ecological and ethical in its approach to producing high-quality shoes.
Are Veja shoes unisex?
Yes, all of Veja’s shoes are unisex, although it’s not immediately apparent because on their official website they have a men and women category.
Do Veja shoes run large or small?
According to different customer reports, the Veja shoes seem to run a bit large, therefore if you tend to wear a half size such as 40.5, it’s best to take a size down.
Do Veja shoes come in half sizes?
No, Veja shoes are only available in full sizes. However, they tend to run a bit large, so if you usually wear a half size, it’s always best to choose a size down.
Are Veja shoes comfortable?
Veja shoes eventually become comfortable, but some users report that their shoes took a while to break in and were not comfortable from the get-go. However, that will also depend on the model you pick.