No Ads for Veja: Actions are Enough

What is Veja?

 

Ever since it was founded in 2005 in Paris, France, Veja has been associated with fashion, comfort, and sustainability. Veja is a footwear brand whose objective is to create sneakers “in a different way, mixing social projects, economic justice, and ecological materials” (Veja Project, n.d.). But you haven’t seen ads for the brand? That’s because it doesn’t have any. Veja, unlike other sneaker companies, refuses to utilise advertising as a marketing strategy because it goes against its values.
According to Veja, money is better spent in sourcing sustainable materials and manufacturing than in the hope to sell more. Giving up advertising allows the brand to focus the brand’s resources on what really matters: providing high quality everyday sneakers which perfectly encapsulate design and sustainability (No ads, n.d. -b). This way, every single stakeholder along the value chain is better compensated and fairly rewarded.

Driving sustainable behavior through a rational appeal

Veja works directly with manufacturers in Brazil and Peru in an effort to remove the middleman in the value chain. Wild rubber is purchased at two to five times the usual market price and cotton harvesters are given the exact quote they will receive even before planting the first seed (Tramuta, 2023). The effective communication between these stakeholders and Veja allows the company to keep valuable relationships with suppliers and create a more balanced way of doing business together (Fair trade, n.d. -a). Although such efforts give Veja an opportunity to advertise itself as a sustainable business, the company decided to tap into the rational side of customers instead. By providing concrete facts about its social and environmental practices rather than an idealised story about its impact, Veja is able to drive sustainable behaviour through a rational appeal (White et al., 2019).

Veja’s limits

If there’s one thing I learnt in my Sustainability Marketing class is that no company is perfect. No matter the efforts, brands operating in the fashion, footwear, and similar industries which promote overconsumption have a long way to go in terms of sustainability. However, what is most important is that companies recognise their limits and act on them. Veja has identified a few aspects that it seeks to improve, such as the dyeing process and the sourcing of eyelets. To learn more about Veja’s opportunities for improvement, visit this link: https://project.veja-store.com/en/single/limits

References

Fair trade. Veja. (n.d.-a). https://project.veja-store.com/en/single/fairtrade

No ads. Veja. (n.d.-b). https://project.veja-store.com/en/single/ads

Tramuta, L. (2023, July 10). How Veja strives to make the greenest sneakers. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-07-11/how-veja-strives-to-make-the-greenest-sneakers

Veja Project. (n.d.). https://project.veja-store.com/en

White, K., Hardisty, D. J., & Habib, R. (2019). The Elusive Green Consumer. Harvard Business Review97(4), 124–133.

Image: https://www.veja-store.com/en_us/campo%20chromefree%20white%20natural-suede-cp052429.html

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