Lily Cole (actress-environmentalist-model-super-cool-chick-and-really-REALLY-lovely-too) has hooked up with Veja (awesome-French-ecological-funky-and-sexy-shoe-and-accessories-brand) to design a range of gorgeous, sustainable footwear, to help protect the Amazon rainforest. Oh yes she has.
I toddled off to the Hoxton Hotel earlier this week, to meet her, see the new limited edition collection and eat as many smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels as I could handle. (Which is a lot. There should have been applause. For me. Not Lily Cole.)
What many people don’t know is that Lily works her socks off as an ambassador for the Sky Rainforest Rescue – a partnership between Sky and WWF to help protect one billion trees in Brazil.
Sky and WWF work with the local government in Acre, northwest Brazil, to tackle deforestation by enabling local people to make a fair living from sustainable rainforest products such as rubber, which is a phenomenal initiative and one that Lily has taken to her heart with gusto – in 2013 she produced a hugely successful jewellery collection made from Amazonian wild rubber.. so she knows what she’s doing, does Lily.
Veja have raised awareness of the versatility of Amazonian wild rubber, which is a naturally occurring material, by using it in the soles of their trainers. They work with local rubber tapping communities including those in the Sky Rainforest Rescue project area in Acre. They buy the rubber at a price that guarantees a better income for the rubber tappers and enables them to keep the trees standing tall and strong.
Lily Cole has seen first hand how this rubber is extracted and has gone on to do exactly the same with her shoe collection, driving home the point that we CAN use wild Amazonian rubber to make beautiful and desirable products for people’s everyday lives. Love love love.
Her range of Veja ‘Taua’ style canvas trainers come in three gorgeous colours for Summer. The design celebrates the smaller flora and fauna of the rainforest – from the delicate wild mushroom to the enchanting hummingbird.
Lily’s inspiration for the design came from her 2012 trip to the Amazon where she saw the breath-taking beauty of butterflies, birds, dragonflies and plants that depend on the eco-system of the Amazon rainforest to survive. She obviously didn’t see any dinosaurs.. but it is a stark reminder of what can happen if we don’t pull our mindful-shopping socks up.
And investing in a pair of these trainers is one sure fire of doing this. For every pair of Lily’s Veja ‘Taua Amazons’ sold, Sky will donate £10 to Sky Rainforest Rescue to help support the livelihood of rubber tappers and equip them to tap six more trees, helping to protect the rainforest. £10! That’s flippin brilliant.
“The survival of the rainforest depends on managing its resources…During my trip to the Amazon, I saw firsthand the crucial part that Sky Rainforest Rescue plays in creating demand for wild Amazonian rubber for companies like Veja, and making the rainforest worth more standing.”
Yes, Lily. YES.
The limited edition collection will be available to buy online and through Offspring concession stores in Selfridges, London and Manchester, and Topshop, Oxford Street.
Prices start at £55 for the low top Veja ‘Taua Amazon’ trainer in Oxford Grey, to £65 for mid top Veja ‘Taua Amazon’ in Clementine and Nautico.