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VEJA x Flaneurz: Reinventing the Wheel

VEJA x Flaneurz: Reinventing the Wheel
In Article, News

When was the last time you were tempted to wear roller skates? After watching Boogie Nights, perhaps, or a walk down the promenade in LA’s Venice Beach? The footwear had its heyday in the 1970s, and while it has stuck around to today, they are less as a viable fashion choice than as sartorial shorthand for a leotard-clad period in history when roller discos reigned supreme.

But times are changing. A collaboration between the world’s coolest ethical sneaker brand, VEJA, and Flaneurz, a young French tech start-up, have resulted in a slick new take on the skate. The platform is essentially a small, perfectly designed skateboard, complete with four wheels and a toe stop, which can be attached and detached from custom made trainers in one quick step.

Guillaume Dovale, VEJA’s communication manager, was convinced from the start:

“When we first met Flaneurz, the first thing we thought is that it was a really cool and fun project. And it’s also just really awesome because you can wear your trainers all day long and then just step onto the platform to get back home!”

Simplicity itself, uniting urban savoir-faire and speed in a single click. But there is also the ethical element. VEJA is a sustainable brand which was founded in 2004 with the mission to ensure fairness and transparency in every step of the design, creation and distribution of their shoes. They don’t advertise, they don’t use sweatshops and they don’t waste stock. Working exclusively with small independent Brazilian producers to produce the leather, cotton and rubber, and using Atelier Sans Frontiers for fabrication and shipping, they make shoes that neatly dispose of the maxim that ethical fashion can’t be stylish.

They were attracted to work with Flaneurz not simply because of the idea, but also because of their shared sustainable vision.

“Obviously when we work with other brands we ask ourselves, ‘are they cool and will it be fun to work with them?’” says Dovale. “But also it has to be a brand that makes things different. The fact that VEJA is the first brand to create a special trainer for the skates is obviously a sign that the product is cool, but mainly that it’s sustainable. Flaneurz come from La Courneuve, a multicultural surburban city. They give people work there and they have their own 100% made in France patented system. Each part of the rollerskates come from the best manufacturing companies in the world in order to make it really durable. If you buy them, you can be sure that they will last a really long time.”

Roller skates used to be the defining footwear of the disco-obsessed 1970s. Under the watchful, artful eye of VEJA and Flaneurz, they are set to be the defining footwear of the cool, creative, sustainably minded 21st century, and beyond.

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