Voted Best Vegan Fashion at Vegfest Awards 2021
Written by Jay
Vegfest Awards Best Fashion Catergory Winner Six Years in a Row.
Yay! We won last night at the Vegfest Awards, Making it 6 years in a row. WOW! It always makes me so happy and proud of the support our fabulous ambassadors and customers give us.
A change of name for this years Vegfest Award and a combining of two categories ‘Favourite Vegan Fashion & Footwear’ meant that not only were we up against some amazing nominees, including one of my personal favourites Anicarnist, the category also had some bigger brands like Vegetarian shoes & Wills vegan Shoes in it. But once again your support came through for us and it truly means the world to Luke & I.
It also made me look back to where it all began with 10 vegan T-shirt designs & a handful of statement badges. I tentatively posted on Facebook. I got three likes. One from my mum, one from my Nan and one from a best friend.
We launched Viva La Vegan at Vegfest Brighton in 2015, back then vegan organic t-shirts were only just emerging and many people questioned our choice/ethos/pricing, wanting our message but cheaper like the fast fashion they saw on the high street. I think we may have educated thousands that yes cotton is vegan but not all cotton is equal. The picture below show’s our basic setup back then. Luke does make an appearance on the photo as the model on the promotional photos behind me.
Having worked in fashion for 15 years before starting Viva La Vegan it was important for me that we kept the ethos, we talked a lot to people at festivals about the importance of organic cotton and the darker side of fast fashion and slowly but surely people got it and began to seek us out
We were nominated for and won our first Vegfest award in 2016 – Best Vegan Fashion
It was a total shock to win the award but it made us determined to press on with our fledgling business. From those few original designs, we now extend to over 400 products lines.
As we now head into year 7 of Viva La Vegan. I think about all the amazing people we have met, before the pandemic we were very much a festival focused brand, traveling the length and breadth of the country, meeting some fantastic people, different ages, backgrounds, beliefs but all united by an enthusiasm for veganism and a desire to proudly promote their beliefs through clothing.
I started the brand because I couldn’t find UK based vegan t-shirts that I wanted to wear, something with a contemporary design feel, that positively promote veganism not just a graphic image or a shouty message. We were one of the first brands in the UK to be centred on strong design-led messages to inspire and our ethos of Fashion as Activism remains paramount to this day.
This made me think about how many of our ‘competitors’ were inspired to start a business after seeing us. We are proud of their achievements too.
Three of the main things that I enjoy the most about running Viva La Vegan are; inspiring others to try veganism…. at work they call me the “Veganator”, promoting more sustainable fashion and seeing the delight on our customer’s faces when they see our designs for the very first time.
We have some big plans for 2022. Watch this space..