Veja, the French-based brand of sustainable sneakers, has appointed Laure Browne as the group's new chief executive. It is the first time in the company's 15-year history that its co-founders, Sébastien Kopp and Ghislain Morillion, appoint someone else for this role. Previously, Browne worked in senior positions at Auchan Retail, SFR, Marionnaud, Yves Saint-Laurent Beauty and BIC. Most recently, she was in charge of international sales for the Auchan chain of hypermarket stores since November 2016.
Veja is growing independently with no investors so far, and the intention of the brand and its owners is to keep it that way in the future. Veja is currently growing its international presence, the U.K. and the U.S. currently being the company's biggest markets, ahead of its domestic French market. More than 75 percent of sales are generated outside France. Veja is currently represented in 30 countries.
According to Textilwirtschaft, Veja recorded an increase in sales from €18 million in 2017 to €34 million in 2018. One million pairs of shoes were delivered last year. The company employs a total of 100 people worldwide.
The sustainable sneakers are made in Brazil with organic wool from Brazil and Peru and rubber from the Amazon. Veja has been focusing on fair compensation of the producers right from the start, paying four to five times more than other sneaker manufacturers. To afford this, Veja does not use classic advertising, but social media channels. The production is made transparent for consumers on the company's website.
The sneakers are priced between €80 and €125 for end consumers. Sneakers of the “Bastille” collection are priced higher, at €165, and are sold at select sneaker stores only.
Veja works with 1,200 points of sale worldwide and has no mono-brand stores yet, but might open its own stores in the future. The co-founders of the company operate three multi-label stores in Paris featuring brands like Patagonia, Knowledge Cotton Apparel, Birkenstock and Veja.