1) What led you to start Immaculate Vegan?
I became vegan a few years ago and initially found it difficult to find beautiful, high quality fashion that was also vegan and sustainable. After a lot of time spent researching brands on the internet and social media, I found that there were actually many fashion-forward vegan brands, but they were hard to find – so I started Immaculate Vegan as an Instagram blog in order to curate and share the best vegan fashion I could find, to help others looking for ethical and sustainable alternatives – and to elevate the profile of vegan fashion and show people you can be vegan and stylish too!
2) What does your typical day at Immaculate Vegan look like?
As the leader of a small but fast growing business, it’s always super busy and diverse! Covering everything from a team catch up, strategy meeting, a catch up with our digital agency, creating marketing emails, working on social posts and stories, doing an interview or podcast, planning the next set of articles for our online magazine, talking to a potential investor – the list is endless. And I love it!
3) What plans do you have for Immaculate Vegan in the future?
We started with vegan women’s shoes and bags, so this is the area we are strongest in, but we now really expanding our clothing categories too. We will also grow our men’s offering, which is currently pretty small, and we plan to launch Immaculate Kids too. Ultimately we want to make sure we have a strong offering in every key category in every region around the world, so that customers have a great choice of vegan and sustainable products that they can also buy locally.
4) What has been the most challenging part of starting your own business?
There are so many challenges to running a business, from operational ones (like making sure we have the technology to sell multiple brands from around the world, to customers around the world, with different shipping, and cross border taxes!); to constantly working to find the best vegan brands out there are getting them onto our site; to raising our first round of investment. I don’t think it’s one thing, but it’s juggling all these things, and the thing that has helped me the most is having a brilliant team to support me. And lots of brilliant brands at Immaculate Vegan – like Svala – whose wonderful stories we get to tell.
5) What inspires and excites you?
I’m really inspired by the growth in demand for ethical and sustainable ways of living – and the businesses that are launching and growing because of that. We’ve already seen a real revolution taking place in plant-based eating, fuelled by ever increasing concerns about the environment, animal welfare and human health – and COVID has only accelerated it. Vegan fashion and lifestyle is poised to be the next revolution, but it’s actually already begun. The global vegan women’s fashion market size is anticipated to reach USD 1,095.6 billion by 2027, with an average annual growth rate of 13.6%, outpacing even vegan food growth. In order to meet that growing demand, we’re seeing exciting new brands launching all the time, showcasing collections that make use of innovative alternatives to leather, wool, silk, fur, down and other animal products – from footwear, bags and accessories to clothing and homewares. So we are really excited to be right at the centre of this! I’m also very inspired and motivated by the response we’ve had from our own customers. It’s summed up for me in this feedback from one: “Finally a single source for exquisite products! I am so tired of only casual options and poor quality products for vegans. We go to events, we want to look nice, we want to say.. oh, you like my shoes? They’re vegan! [I’ve been] aching for new savvy products on one site! You nailed it! You have a customer for life.”