Over the past month, we have highlighted the fellows in our second class of the Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory. These 12 change-makers, who are committed to social and environmental progress, will attend an exclusive workshop at the Eureka Innovation Lab this weekend for inspiration, ideation and to collaborate on ideas to reduce the climate impact of the apparel industry.
CEO, VEJA, a sustainable shoe brand that uses organic, agro-ecological and fair-trade cotton, wild Amazon rubber and recycled plastic bottles.
“Doing things right is incredibly rewarding.”
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the social and environmental activist Chico Mendes, who started the fight against deforestation in Brazil in the 1980s and lost his life in the fight. His thoughts sum up VEJA’s social conception of ecology: “At first, I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, than I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”
How are you working to improve sustainability in the apparel industry?
VEJA is the living proof that it is possible to make desirable sneakers using fair trade, organic and recycled materials.
“Circular Systems™ is disrupting the fashion industry in the name of planetary boundaries, the preservation and regeneration of our habitat, and the well-being of all future generations of all species.”
Co-Founder, Circular Systems™, a new materials startup developing innovative circular and regenerative technologies.
If there is one thing you could be known for, what would it be?
I would like to be known as a good father and global citizen who has inspired those around me to use their creativity to make the world a better place.
How are you achieving this today?
We are recycling textile waste the Texloop™, and transforming it into high-performance new materials with Orbital Hybrid Yarns™. We are also transforming food-crop waste into natural textile fibers and other products with the Agraloop Bio-refinery™. With Agraloop we intend to kick off a new era of regenerative natural fiber production on a massive global scale.