Competition: Design Beyond Skin's Next Vegan Shoe!

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Calling all fashion students, budding designers and ethical style pioneers – together with compassionate footwear company Beyond Skin, we're looking for ideas for a brand-new vegan shoe.

Brighton-based Beyond Skin combines a cruelty-free approach to fashion with a real glamour factor. Its gorgeous shoes, which don't contain any leather, wool, exotic skins or other animal products and are made from recyclable materials, are beloved by compassionate fashionistas, including vegan stars Leona Lewis and Natalie Portman.

Now the boutique brand has teamed up with PETA for this exciting competition. It's a great opportunity for an ambitious young designer to kick-start a career and see his or her creative idea go into production. So if you have a vision for a sustainable stiletto, a leather-free loafer or an ethical espadrille, please submit your entry!

The winning design will be picked by celebrity judge Laura Whitmore.

Beyond Skin Shoes

Why Vegan Shoes

For the leather industry, millions of cows endure the horrors of factory farming, including extreme crowding, disease, food deprivation and mutilations such as dehorning, tail-docking and castration, often without painkillers. Because of improper stunning, they may face the final incision still conscious and terrified.

Turning animal skin into leather also has a grave impact on the environment. It requires the use of highly toxic mineral salts, formaldehyde and other chemicals, while tannery runoff contains large amounts of pollutants, such as salt, lime sludge, sulphides and acids. Watch Stella McCartney's exposé of the leather industry to learn more.

The demand for snakeskin, lizard skin and other exotic skins fuels poaching and extreme cruelty (as animals have the skins ripped from their backs often while completely conscious) and has caused many species to become endangered. Watch Joaquin Phoenix's video about the barbaric exotic-skins trade.

The good news is that vegan clothes and shoes free from such cruelty are on the rise. More and more designers and retailers – from Stella McCartney to Topshop – are waking up to the fact that animal-free fabrics and textiles are the future. This competition is your chance to be a part of this trend towards compassionate fashion.

To enter, please read the competition details below and then e-mail your designs to by 13 December 2013.

Competition Details

The purpose is to design a commercially viable ladies shoe or sandal, to be made from 100 per cent animal-free materials, that Beyond Skin can produce and sell as part of its spring 2014 line.

Designs are to be submitted in black and white illustrated drawings with a perspective from above and the front as well as a profile of both sides. If there are any intricate design areas that need detailing, please include those, too.

The winning style will be produced in faux microfibre suede, faux leather, patent PU, imitation exotic skin or silk-free satin or possibly a combination of these materials.

Please e-mail your entries to The deadline for submissions is 13 December 2013 at 17:00 GMT. The design team at Beyond Skin will short-list the 10 designs they find most creative and well thought-out, and the final winner will be chosen from this shortlist by celebrity judge Laura Whitmore based on those same two criteria. The winner will be announced by 31 December 2013, and will receive as a prize bragging rights and a pair of the finished shoes in spring 2014.

By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have read and you agree to our contest terms and conditions and privacy policy.

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