Want to shape the future of vegan footwear and see your own shoe design hit the streets? With the help of model and rising star Anaïs Gallagher, luxury vegan shoe brand Bourgeois Boheme and PETA are kicking off the search for a fashionable unisex lifestyle sneaker for AW16.

Students, sartorialists, sneakerheads and anyone else can enter a unisex lifestyle sneaker design for a chance to win and see their dream shoe get made.

Bourgeois Boheme is a London-based footwear brand for men and women representing classic and sustainable style with a contemporary edge. With craftsmanship and detailing at its core, Bourgeois Boheme produces exclusively vegan shoes using the finest Italian vegan leather and natural materials. Its shoes have been spotted on A-list stars, including Natalie Portman, Mayim Bialik, Torrey DeVitto and Bryan Adams.

The brand has teamed up with PETA to find a leather-free luxe sneaker design for those who opt for leisure unisex shoes with a purpose, with part of the profits to be donated to PETA’s campaigns for animals. So if you’re a student designer looking to kick-start a career or a fashionista with a vision and want to shape the future of cruelty-free footwear, please submit your entry!

Why Vegan Shoes

For the leather industry, millions of cows, pigs, goats and sheep 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. Watch Leona Lewis explain why leather is hell for animals.

And they aren’t the only animals who suffer. A deeply disturbing PETA Asia investigation in China revealed horrific abuse of dogs whose skin then entered the leather market. Because of China’s frequent lack of supply-chain traceability and intentional mislabelling, products made of dog skin could end up anywhere in the world. Watch the investigation of the cruel industry.

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 – such as ripping the skin from completely conscious animals’ bodies – 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 Esprit – 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 the trend towards compassionate fashion.

Enter Now

This competition is now closed. Laura Hickman is our competition winner! Full details to follow.