LVB Interview: Bourgeois Boheme

Cruelty free fashion is becoming ever more popular and Bourgeois Boheme is just one of the fantastic vegan shoe brands that is gaining more gravitas of late. Check out my interview with founder, Alicia Lai here:

How and when did Bourgeois Boheme get started?

Bourgeois Boheme was created back in 2005 by myself Alicia Lai, a qualified podiatrist who couldn’t find any quality vegan accessories and footwear on the market at that time. I begun selling online vegan accessories (e.g purses, belts) and footwear based on my ethics as a vegan- that no animals should be harmed for anything, even fashion.  I had a break for 2 years and then re-launched Bourgeois Boheme in 2013 as an exclusive online vegan footwear brand.

When did you become vegan and why?

I was veggie for more than 10 years and became vegan in 2005 due to the realities of the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries. There is absolutely no need to exploit animals for human use and I together with my family, my two girls being vegan from birth, live a happy, fulfilled and healthy plant based lifestyle.

How would you describe the Bourgeois Boheme brand? 

Bourgeois Boheme is a lifestyle footwear brand that cares first and foremost about designing animal and environmentally friendly shoes. Our designs are exclusive BB styles which are created with help of our designer Jurgita and myself, founder Alicia. Our aim is to create beautiful and versatile shoes for men and women who like ourselves care where our shoes come from. With a particular flair for timeless British style and contemporary utilitarian designs, we are consistently producing artisan made shoes from the finest European vegan leathers. In short, we work tirelessly to produce better shoes in a better way – redefining the perception of leather-free footwear as we know it.

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What materials do you use in your products? 

Our shoes are lovingly crafted without any animal-derived materials such as fur, leather, wool, silk and animal-based glues. There’s absolutely no PVC either. Instead, we choose high-quality, Italian-made cotton-backed microfibre PU (polyurethane), textiles and natural materials.  This result is sophisticated, innovative materials that are long-lasting, super-comfortable, waterproof, and animal- and eco-friendly.

Who is your typical customer?

Our typical customer are men and women in their mid-thirties who are vegan or vegetarian and care about animal welfare but also men and women who are not necessarily vegan but are conscious consumers meaning they make sure that what they buy is eco-friendly and has less impact on the planet as well as being interested in fashion and making sure they look good by doing good.

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What inspires you? 

Our inspiration from the beginning was animals and the environment. We aim to educate people that there are better alternatives in the market than any animal-derived materials. We also want to prove that vegan shoes can be contemporary as well as eco and animal friendly.

How have you seen vegan fashion brands grow over the years? 

There is constant research from vegan brands in the market, including us, to find more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials to subsidise the toxic leathers that are used in the fashion industry today. We have seen vegan and sustainable fashion becoming more and more mainstream with Stella McCartney being a great example as well as Matt & Natt which has become very popular amongst vegan celebrities. We have seen Bryan Adams and Natalie Portman wearing our shoes which is a great honour for us as a vegan independent business.

portman

What are your best selling styles? 

Our best selling styles at the moment are our luxe-sneakers for both men and women called Taylor and Damien, which both come in black and plum colours. They are the ultimate sneakers that will complete every person’s casual look! Also, our Matilda Chelsea boots for women are one of our ultimate best selling styles as well as the men’s equivalent Ralph. This season we also introduced our nod to London look with Kristen and David monk shoes which also have been a favourite amongst our BB fans.

What are the key shoes for this Autumn Winter for both Men and Women? 

Despite the London drizzle and cold that we had mid-season, people are obsessed with athleisure wear and sneakers this season. People know that the cold will hit at some point that is why Chelsea boots and chucky lace up boots are extremely popular this season amongst both men and women.

What are your favourite vegan friendly brands? 

All of them!  Any brand that makes a stand for a more compassionate and peaceful world gets my seal of approval.

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What does the future hold for Bourgeois Boheme? 

We are always trying to make our ranges as sustainable as possible with extensive research in eco-friendlier materials. Also, our collections as well as our designs are becoming more androgynous and we are also launching next winter our first unisex vegan sneaker collection. Exciting times!

Check out the wonderful offering from Bourgeois Boheme here. http://www.bboheme.com

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Bird’s Eye Review: The Vegan Kind December 15 box

Been a bit slack on The Vegan Kind reviews of late but here is a look at my December box:

 

1.Harper’s Christmas Candle 

I love this candle and this is now the second one that I have received in The Vegan Kind Box.  Lovely smell that helped me to get into the festive spirit but also takes me nicely into the New Year.

http://harperscandles.com 

2. Cocoa Libre Chocolates 

These were delicious.  The exact right ratio of chocolate to mint. Will definitely be ordering again.

http://www.cocoalibre.co.uk

3. Nakd Christmas Pud bar

A flavour of Nakd bar that I haven’t yet tried?  That’s an achievement.   This bar contains dates, cashews, raisins and some natural flavourings. I’m not a big fan of Christmas Pudding to be honest, so it wasn’t my favourite flavour but it did have a nice citrus tang and nostalgic Christmas taste!

https://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk

4. Sweet Freedom Choc Shot Orange and Freedom Marshmallows 

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My porridge is already a fan of the original and coconut varieties and this one did not disappoint either.  To be extra decadent, I added a spoonful of cocoa powder in with the almond milk. It also wouldn’t be a vegan hot chocolate without a generous helping of Freedom marshmallows.

http://www.sweetfreedom.co.uk/index.php/choc-shot

http://www.freedommallows.com

5. Sticky Mix Oat and Cranberry Cookie Mix 

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Sticky Mix is right as I got in a right ol’ mess when making these but it was totally worth it.  The chocolate variety received in an earlier box went down a treat with my non vegan work pals and these Oat and Cranberry cookies were equally as delicious.

http://www.sticky-mix.co.uk

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Come and be my virtual friend:

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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LVB’s Favourite Vegan stories of 2015

Ben and Jerry’s vegan icecream 

A lot has happened in the world of the vegan in 2015.  Here is a pick of my favourite stories:

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In the summer, the ice-cream giant that is Ben and Jerry’s shared the news that they are creating a line of vegan, non dairy ice creams then went on to confirm recently that these sweet treats will be made with delicious almond milk.  Still no news about the particular flavours on offer but we’re expecting big things.  Launching in the US in Spring of this year and a little later in the UK. Vegan junk food fans rejoice!

Beyonce announces then denounces her veganism 

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After announcing that her weight loss was due to a vegan diet…this news went viral…followed by a later update that in fact, she still ate meat.  So close…Beyonce…so close..

Cowspiracy goes mainstream 

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With the acquisition of one Mr Leonardo DiCaprio as Executive Producer and the recent release on Netflix, Cowspiracy has reached a new audience. In case you’ve missed it, this entertaining and educational film follows Kip Andersen on his journey of enlightenment about the terrors and truths of the animal agriculture industry and its wider effects on the environment.

If you want to see more documentary recommendations, go here: https://londonveganbird.com/2015/08/01/lvbs-documentary-recommendations/

Prêt A Manger annoucing future Veggie stores….?

pret_a_manger_interior

Back in July 2015, Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret A Manger told the British press that sales of vegetarian salads and sandwiches have increased by 12.5 per cent in the last six months.  He then went on to ask the public’s opinion on future veggie friendly plans. The result of which was that 44% of those polled voted for a vegetarian-only store and also encouragingly, 52% of people chose the option to have a vegetarian-only fridge in every shop.  Pret is definitely head and shoulders above other chain stores with more and more vegan and veggie options been added to their menu monthly. Definitely going in the right direction, I would say.

13% of All Israelis are now Vegan

Gary Yourofsky - credit: Gary Yourofsky
Gary Yourofsky – credit: Gary Yourofsky

Gary Yourofsky, the animal rights activist, is credited with singlehandedly turning more people vegan – including 8% of Israel to take the number to 13%– than anyone else in the world.

The speech that started it all is now the most-viewed in Israel’s history, and is thought to have been the cataylst for a large portion of Israel’s population to go vegan. If you haven’t see this very famous speech, check it out below:

Britian’s New Farming Minister is Vegan

Kerry-McCarthy_3440145b

Kerry McCarthy, a British Labour Party politician was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in September 2015. Kerry has been seen to make some outspoken statements including: “I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it. ” This is a huge step forward.

Can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for veganism.  Surely, it can only get better.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Come and be my virtual friend:

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

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