06/02/19 Veja’s New Vegan Leather Sneakers Made From Corn Waste

Veja’s new “Campo” sneakers drop is making big waves and not because of some random celebrity endorsement. Rather it’s down to the conscious footwear label’s choice of a new type of raw material: ‘corn waste’ based material C.W.L.

The shoe’s upper fabric is made with vegan ‘leather’ produced from canvas and corn—and Veja says it’s the first time the material has ever been used in this way.

In response to the increasing demand for cruelty-free leather alternatives, the brand have released the new vegan sneaker range. The Campo sneaker is the result of a 5-year project with the purpose of researching and developing an ecological substitute for real leather. What the brand finally found was this bio-sourced material developed by an Italian company, made from a waxed cotton canvas consisting of 50% corn waste from the food industry, making it a 63% biodegradable fabric.

The shoes are said to look and feel just like animal-based leather. Available in six different colours, the sneakers have a thicker sole than the previous range. 

Following the success of its first collection of vegan sneakers, the footwear manufacturer now has 20 models which contain zero animal products – the company also avoids using any hazardous chemicals.

The company’s name, Veja, translates to “look” – with a hidden meaning that consumers should look beyond the sneakers and focus on how they were made.

Co-founder of Veja Sébastian Kopp, who has been searching for sustainable and eco-friendly materials since the company started in 2005, told Luna Journal that the shoes have a “long service life.” He added that they are waterproof, resistant, and “less rigid and more comfortable than leather.”

Business firm Grand View Research predicted in 2017 that the global faux leather market will hit $85 billion by 2025 as consumers shift toward animal-free products.

“Animal rights laws in several countries have become a major hurdle for natural leather manufacturers,”the report reads. “Growing awareness among consumers regarding animal killings” has also played a major role in the upped demand for cruelty-free materials.

Already offering a range of vegan shoes made from eco-conscious materials like organic cotton, vegan suede and nubuck, recycled jute, and recycled polyester, this new leather imitation has the potential to challenge not only these, but perhaps even the signature genuine leather styles in the collection. 

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