French basket brand Veja expands its production to Portugal

Veja now has part of its collection manufactured in Portugal. After using only Brazilian subcontractors for twenty years, since its creation in 2004, the French sneaker brand uses a European manufacturer for the production of one of its models, the V90.

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Like many other European clients, including Clarks, Weston for some of its baskets, Anthology and Bobbies, the company chose Portugal, a country whose shoe industry has more than 2,000 factories and employs 40,000 people. Fr “big secret since November 2022”the brand ” test “ thus the production tool and know-how of Samba Footwear, industrialist in the Porto region (west), “on all models produced in Brazil”explains Sébastien Kopp, co-founder and co-general director.

One year later, and with 100,000 pairs designed in this ultra-modern factory, the test proved conclusive. “The quality is there”, observes Mr. Kopp. Although the cost price has increased by 12% since the start of the contract, the brand, whose sales volumes reached 3.5 million pairs in 2023, has decided to expand this Portuguese production. This range of Veja V90 “made in Portugal” will be reserved for its European customers, that is to say to around a hundred department stores and boutiques. American and South American points of sale, which distribute Veja, will only have access to ranges manufactured in Brazil.

Producing this range in France would have been impossible, judges Mr. Kopp. Car “the industrial tool” which allows you to make an entire pair of sneakers “does not exist”, note it. According to him, European production has several advantages. “It makes it possible to renew the supply, to obtain cotton grown in Africa and to use recycled or ecological materials and leather produced in Europe. »

Signs of weakness in European trade

So far, the brand is sticking to its alternative model, using organic cotton and wild rubber, purchased in Brazil and Peru, from independent producers and paid at a higher rate than the price of raw materials. Obviously, using them to ship them tens of thousands of kilometers, to Porto, and making shoes from them did not fit with Veja’s ecological policy.

However, producing these pairs in Portugal is unlikely to reduce the company’s environmental footprint compared to the brand’s Brazilian manufacturing. Certainly, Brazil’s transport post, which represents 16% to 18% of its carbon footprint, will be modified. But delivery from Portugal to points of sale will be done by trucks, a more carbon-intensive mode of transport than maritime transport, recalls Sébastien Kopp.

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