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7 Questions with Annick Ireland, Founder and CEO of Immaculate Vegan 

 
We spoke to Immaculate Vegan founder, Annick Ireland to get her take on vegan
We spoke to Immaculate Vegan founder, Annick Ireland to get her take on vegan
We spoke to Immaculate Vegan founder, Annick Ireland to get her take on vegan
We spoke to Immaculate Vegan founder, Annick Ireland to get her take on vegan fashion and how the current Covid-19 situation could impact the future of fashion and retail. 
Immaculate Vegan founded their luxury e-commerce platform in 2018. Their
Immaculate Vegan founded their luxury e-commerce platform in 2018.
Their mission is to help drive the shift to an ethical and sustainable lifestyle that optimises happiness and wellness. For the many, not the few; and for the future of our planet.
 

 What's the biggest misconception about Vegan fashion?

One big one is that vegan leathers are all “ just plastic” and that they might be more unsustainable than animal leather – which definitely isn’t true. In fact, even polyurethane (which is one of the polymers popularly used as a vegan leather alternative) has been demonstrated to be many times more sustainable than animal leather, which is one of the most unsustainable materials used in fashion. But also there are so many amazing new vegan leathers now like cactus leather, apple leather, pineapple leather – and new innovations are taking place all the time. Another misconception is that vegan fashion is somehow different to ‘normal’ fashion, in that it might be frumpy, or poor quality. The truth is that there is lots of choice now and a lot of amazing brands out there. You really don’t have to compromise on style or quality anymore if you want to buy ethically and sustainably, and I think the quality and variety of the brands we have on Immaculate Vegan are testament to that.  
 

What were the main challenges and how did you overcome them to have such a great year, even in 2020?

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 Ration.L – whose wonderful stories we get to tell. 
 

What's the most exciting aspect of your job?

Probably seeing all the new vegan, ethical & sustainable brands and products that are being launched all the time now, and thinking about who we want to work with. When we started I thought we might struggle to really build a large enough proposition with the right number and quality of brands in all the categories we wanted, but I don’t feel like that at all now, as the market is just booming! And that’s being driven by the rapid increase in consumer demand, which is fantastic to see. 
 

Is there a Vegan product you feel you haven't discovered yet/wanting to find?

I think there’s still space for more stylish vegan shoe brands, particularly in the UK. I’d love to see a vegan version of Russell & Bromley!
 

What is one piece of life advice you think everybody should live by?

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.” Dita von Teese