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Veja is known as a small ethically friendly business producing exclusive sneakers that mostly appeal to people who are highly committed to environmental sustainability. This company is extremely popular among the “cultural creatives”, who are educated consumers interested in spirituality (Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation). From its early days, the success of Veja was immense despite its higher-than-average prices on the market. The company needs to owe its popularity to the strategy of utilizing natural and organic materials, including wild latex from the Amazon River, Brazilian organic cotton, and vegetable-tanned leather, that mitigate rubber tree deforestation, enhance biodiversity, and prevent water pollution correspondingly. Veja can be compared to another ethical fashion company Patagonia, which aims to reduce its environmental impact even by discouraging its customers from buying more products and restoring the old ones instead.

Conventional firms in the fashion industry are characterized by standardized manufacturing processes and supply chains. Depending on the company’s target audience, either cheap or more expensive materials are used in the production process. In the case of Veja, its founders created an exclusive approach to the creation of sneakers as both of them preferred such shoes and wanted to make them perfect. The company’s business model is based on three core values: “utilization of ecological inputs, fair cotton trade, and respecting the worker’s dignity” (Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation 6). Veja’s fabrication costs were much higher compared to other footwear brands because Kopp and Morillion acquired the best organic materials, funded research and development, and invested in collaborations with dyeing specialists. This business is also known for the avoidance of advertisement, but it was endorsed by the media and appreciated by the public since its early days. Apparently, Veja developed its distinctive feature on the market and attracted many consumers, so there was no need for its acquisition by conglomerates.

Veja had such a strong brand identity and popularity on the market that there was no need to become a part of the large company. Even in case, it was acquired by Timberland, its distinctive approach and commitment towards environmental sustainability could fade. By that time, Timberland was already well-known on the market as an environmentally sustainable business, providing outdoor outfits. The most famous boots produced by this company are well-known all over the world. Acquisition of Veja by Timberland could lead to the strengthening of sustainability commitment in Timberland influenced by the corporate principles of Veja. At the same time, such circumstances would not be favorable for establishing the brand identity of Veja’s sneakers. The reputation and brand recognition of Timberland would hinder the development of the individual approach of Veja’s sneakers.

Even though Kopp and Morillion did not know much about the fashion industry, they managed to create a strong corporate culture and brand identity internally and externally. The working environment was favorable for the employees because the founders took care of the working conditions and provided many benefits to retain its employees. Owing to the communication team, the company managed to deliver its message into publicity, build a strong brand identity, awareness and loyalty. Moreover, building a brand involved “the sponsorship of art installations made by the local artists that befriended in the French and Brazilian urban art sciences” (Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation 11). Art also encouraged the founder of Veja to create different sneakers collections to broaden its target audience.

Work Cited

Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation. “Veja: Sneakers with a Conscience.” The University of Western Ontario, 2010, pp. 1-16.

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