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Ethical Vegan Shoes

 - Apr 6, 2012
References: bboheme
Alicia Lai is the founder of Bourgeois Boheme, a line of fashionable men's and women's vegan shoes. Based in London, the "fashion with compassion" brand is conscious of its environmental footprint and works only with manufacturers who provide ethical work conditions to their employees.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Alicia. In the answers below, she shares how she entered the fashion industry, where the idea for Bourgeois Boheme (BoBo) came from, the brands that inspire her, and the rituals that keep her creative.

4 Questions With Alicia Lai, founder of Bourgeois Boheme

1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
I had heard a good amount of people complain about the lack of quality, leather-free shoes and accessories for several years. I knew the struggle myself, so creating BoBo felt like the natural thing to do. Many non-leather shoes are either extremely expensive or of very poor quality and produced in sweatshops. We only sell shoes that are high quality and ethically produced, but still don’t cost you the world!

2. How did you decide to join this sector?
I stumbled into the fashion industry as I was struggling to find ethical, quality, on-trend products that also catered to my ethics and beliefs as a vegan. I worked in the health industry before, so fashion was a mystery to me, but I have always loved shoes and accessories.

3. How do you get your inspiration?
Being more of a traditionalist I have always liked classic designs. I am inspired by iconic brands such as Churchs and Tods. I also love some more original brands though, such as Tracy Neuls and Think, and I like giving classics a contemporary twist!

4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
If I can I always try to find some time to sneak away and enjoy a creative pleasure. It can be an hour wandering through an art exhibition, window shopping, a hike in nature or a visit to a special place. This is the best way to stimulate my creativity!
However I think creativity is a mysterious force that visits us unexpectedly, the most important think is not missing it when it comes…

(Image of Alicia via