Years before the Duchess of Sussex wore her trusty pair of black-and-white Esplar’s in Sydney, Veja was ubiquitous almost exclusively in Paris, where the sustainable brand is headquartered. Beginning in 2014, I started spotting them on well-dressed Parisians of all ages—literally, from baby to boomer—as often as I was seeing Sézane handbags dangle from the arms of in-the-know locals. At the height of the Stan Smith revival (and maybe a year later), I couldn’t walk down the street without being drawn to a parade of sneakers: a mix of Adidas, New Balances, and Converses, with Vejas thrown into the mix. With its signature V in a host of colorful hues and shapes that skew sporty or urban depending on the wearer, Vejas were compelling in their word-of-mouth popularity and air of mystery. It was around this time that I decided I’d look into the company to find out for myself: What was the fuss about? The fuss, it turns out, was not only because its styles were unequivocally sharp and easy to pair with everything, but because of the company’s abiding ethical vision. From the time it launched 13 years ago, Veja has produced a sustainably manufactured shoe that founders Sébastien Kopp a...