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DEJA GETS "GREEN" LIGHT WITH $2.5 MILLION CAPITAL INFUSION; ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST TEAMS UP WITH FORMER AVIA EXECUTIVES

 DEJA GETS "GREEN" LIGHT WITH $2.5 MILLION CAPITAL INFUSION;
 ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST TEAMS UP WITH FORMER AVIA EXECUTIVES
 BOULDER, Colo., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The long years of hard work and undying devotion to her cause have finally paid off for recycling activist, Julie Lewis. Her newly formed company, Deja Inc., located in Tigard, Ore., has just received $2.5 million in venture capital to produce a line of footwear made from recycled and reclaimed materials.
 Available in specialty shops and better department stores next spring will be the company's first line of comfortable and stylish footwear marketed as DejaShoe, which Lewis aptly describes as "footwear with a past." Future products will include apparel and accessories -- all made from a variety of recycled and reclaimed materials.
 The cornerstone of Deja's corporate philosophy is sustainable development. According to Lewis, "We believe that economic growth for individuals, businesses and societies should occur within ecological bounds and limitations set by nature. To be sustainable, development must meet present human needs without impacting future generations' ability to meet theirs. Recycling is an important way to help achieve this, but it won't work unless we can create good, competitive products from recycled materials and reach the mainstream market with them."
 What makes Deja so different from other "green" companies espousing similar philosophies and goals is Lewis herself. "It was Julie's vision, zeal and innovative approach to recycling technology that attracted the attention and backing of some key business people who have proven track records in the industry," said Ann Doherty of the Chicago-based Allstate Venture Capital, a branch of Allstate Insurance Co. and one of Deja's financial backers. "Allstate reviews more than 600 potential investments every year in a wide variety of industries and funds only about eight or ten. Deja had the right mix of timing and trends, and most importantly, a management team capable of pulling it off."
 One power player from the footwear industry that Lewis was able to attract is Dean Croft, ex-CEO of Avia. Admittedly "environmentally neutral" until he hooked up with Lewis, Croft recruited two of his former Avia colleagues -- Marketing Vice President Bruce MacGregor and Chief Financial Officer Scott Taylor. In four short years, Croft and his crew brought Avia from $7 million annual sales to over $200 million, at which point it was purchased by industry giant, Reebok Ltd.
 Lewis's "vision and zeal" coupled with the business know-how of the management team were enough to also convince BancBoston Venture Capital and U.S. Venture Partners of San Francisco to help bank-roll Deja.
 Given the accomplishments of Lewis and Deja's celebrated management team, this young company has already received the "green" light for success -- and the opportunity to set an example of sustainable development for others to follow.
 -0- 6/16/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Farentinos of Environmental Communication Associates, 303-444-1428/ CO: Deja Inc. ST: Colorado IN: SU:


MC -- DV001 -- 0471 06/16/92 08:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 16, 1992
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