The material was made by “waxing” canvas material with a corn waste material, creating a remarkably leather-based appearance. The cotton was grown using organic methods in Peru and Brazil. Other materials used in the shoe include renewable rubber.
Veja founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion tell Fast Company it took years to develop the process. The brand also uses other sustainable materials, like silk, and more innovative options, such as tilapia skin. “Replacing leather with plastic does not sound like a good solution to us,” Kopp adds.
Production of conventional leather emits greenhouse gas, requires toxic chemicals, and contributes to deforestation in Brazil.