Veja Sneakers with a Conscience Essay

797 Words Oct 25th, 2012 4 Pages
I. Background
Morillion and Kopp founded Veja, an eco-sneaker company to serve the ethical fashion industry. This case focuses on the development of sustainable business practices in organic cotton, natural rubber and leather. Veja shows that they can create a product that is both appealing and conscientious. The company grew rapidly due to praise from the media and word of mouth. What leads to their success is the fact that they can integrate sustainable practices into a holistic and ever improving offering, which engages multiple supply chain participants (employees, consumers, suppliers, partners, even artists) in co-devising a value proposition that appeals not just to our sense of fashion, but also to our conscience.

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The founders knew very little about the fashion industry, aside from the fact that both of them are sneaker addicts. The difference in Veja’s model is that the company learns by doing and making mistakes and willing to take some risks. Veja’s distribution is also different. Instead of having their own store or section for display, the company decided to place their products next to non-ethical brands. This may lead to consumers thinking that their products are just the same as the other name brands. However, this model works for them because Veja’s products are appealing to the mass and the fact that the products were placed in trendy avenues increased their appeals. Veja’s corporate culture is also different from that of conventional model. The company treats the employees well, allowing them lots of freedom and flexibility, paying higher wages than most fashion companies. Veja also encourage work-life balance which show they care for the employees’ happiness. As a result, Veja was able to keep a lot of the original talents. The founders created a supply chain that was based on sustainable relationships. Whereas the fashion industry was accustomed to contracting new parties as soon as a factory could deliver on time or cut costs, Veja tried to improve living conditions and to work cooperatively with supply chain to jointly develop the best product they could imagine. Veja bought raw materials directly from producers. The company paid a fixed price, which,

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