New Design Will Debut in Autumn Winter 16 Collection of Cruelty-Free Footwear Brand Bourgeois Boheme

Cardiff – The entries have been evaluated and a winner has been chosen: fashion illustrator Laura Hickman, 35, from Cardiff, has beaten applicants from around the world to win the sneaker-design contest launched by luxury vegan shoe label Bourgeois Boheme in collaboration with PETA. Many aspiring designers leapt at the chance to kick-start their careers by submitting designs for a new animal-free unisex sneaker, but it’s Hickman’s shoe that stood out and will go on sale in autumn/winter 2016. The winner was selected by celebrity judge and teen model Anaïs Gallagher. A photo of the winning design is available here.

“Tomorrow’s designers are increasingly using their talents to be a creative force for good by shunning cruel and environmentally damaging animal-derived materials, and Laura Hickman is a shining example with her impressive vegan sneaker design”, says PETA Senior Manager of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. “As more compassionate shoppers learn of the horror that lies behind every piece of leather, the demand for vegan accessories will only continue to grow.”

From the carbon emissions produced by cattle to the toxic tannery chemicals that pollute nearby water supplies, the leather industry has a terrible impact on the Earth. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” –  notes that in addition to being “greener”, vegan materials spare animals horrors such as castration, branding and tail-docking.

Bourgeois Boheme is one of a growing number of designers and retailers – including Stella McCartney, H&M, Vivienne Westwood and ASOS – that recognise the huge demand for animal-friendly fashions and offer their customers shoes, bags, purses and belts made from modern, high-quality fabrics which don’t cost the Earth or harm a hair on an animal’s head.