Inside the Brazilian Amazon With Sneaker Brand VEJA

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IT’S A GRAY JUNE MORNING in Brazil’s Amazon, and Julio Barbosa de Aquino is carving a protracted, shallow line right into a tree outdoors his house within the state of Acre. The tree’s bark appears to be like like a patchwork quilt: Semi-horizontal and vertical grooves cowl nearly each inch you possibly can see.

Seconds later, a white liquid that just about resembles Elmer’s glue fills the area the place Barbosa has carved, and it flows down diagonally right into a separate vertical line. Lastly, a couple of beads drip right into a small black bucket that’s hooked up to the bark.

That is the morning’s primary occasion: That is the way you get wild rubber.

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Julio Barbosa demonstrates the correct solution to carve the bushes to extract the wild rubber outdoors his house in Brazil’s Amazon. Pictures by John Lonsdale

TO REACH THE CHICO MENDES EXTRACTIVE RESERVE the place Barbosa lives, you must drive down a protracted, bumpy filth street till you attain a river. Then, a brief boat experience throughout the water later, you climb up a steep path to the highest of the hill. The Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve is called after Barbosa’s finest buddy, Chico Mendes, who led a peaceable motion within the ’80s to guard Acre’s rubber tapping group from deforestation and farming, and was killed in 1988. Right this moment, Barbosa, 64, is the president of the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve Residents and Producers Affiliation Xapuri, AMOPREX.

This is only one of eight associations the place Veja, the sustainable French footwear model, works with rubber tappers, or seringueiros, who accumulate wild rubber from the forest that goes into Veja’s common traces of modern and trendy sneakers just like the Esplars, the Campos, and V-10s—all of that are made with the wild rubber.

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