Sébastien Kopp of Veja
Sébastien Kopp is the Co-Founder of popular French footwear brand Veja. The brand is known for its slate canvas body with a distinctive “v” logo, which has been worn by numerous figures from Meghan Markle to Eddie Redmayne, and sold in stores across the globe. Alongside François-Ghislain Morillion, the two founded Veja in 2004 with the intent of finding economic balance within their business. Kopp, a former investment banker, quit his job to work with nonprofits only to discover the dark side of globalization. This prompted Kopp and Morillion to challenge themselves with creating a product that could be made without greenwashing. What became months of searching the Amazon for agro-ecological cotton, respectable factories and raw rubber, Veja was born.
More than 15 years later today, the company operates globally with over 180 employees worldwide. Their team is still heavily involved in the process from working out of Brazil to source natural materials all the way till the end where they are distributed online or in various retailers. Kopp tells us that he has never been in a rush to accelerate his business, but rather focuses on a slow growth where he can maintain the business from managing complex human relationships to creating a business built on Fair Trade and economic balance. Keeping transparency in mind, he details issues of deforestation, ecological impact, partnering with NGOs, economic disparity and much more.
No advertisements, no sponsors, no investors and only 12 simple styles, all made with economic justice in mind, Veja stands as one of the forerunners to fashion's ever-growing sustainability movement. Despite all his merits, Kopp reminds us that "[Veja isn’t] changing the world, but just proposing a small solution to this disparity.”
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