When French ecological shoe brand Veja wanted to design a new sport sole for its footwear, it consulted MateriaBrasil. Soon, fashion-forward women in Rio de Janeiro were cruising into business meetings in Veja Esplar high-tops — marketed as Vert in Brazil — with soles made of wild rubber harvested in the Amazonian state of Acre. Veja shoes, through the company’s own research, now also feature tilapia-skin uppers from the interior of São Paulo state.
Thanks to its success in connecting companies with the producers of fairly sourced raw materials from the country’s far reaches, Rio-based MateriaBrasil has become an anchor of Brazil’s growing B Corporation movement — one of the world’s largest outside the U.S. — which pledges to put society and the planet ahead of strictly making money. Brazil has 103 certified B Corps, more than 10 times the number since certification became possible in the country in 2013.
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