A FASHION design student at Leeds University has won the first-ever competition to create a vegan shoe.
Aspiring designer Alice Lambert-Gorwyn beat entries from Brazil and the US with her innovative design for the new animal-free and eco-friendly shoe that she will create with Beyond Skin and PETA.
TV presenter Laura Whitmore judged the competition and described the 22-year-old’s winning design as "slick and sophisticated" and that it had "the better shoe construction".
She added: "I truly believe that the future of fashion lies in sustainable, cruelty-free materials, and companies like Beyond Skin and organisations like PETA are leading the way in creating awareness.
"For someone who loves fashion and cares about animals, the great news is that from the catwalk to the high street, the availability of clothes and shoes made from faux leather and faux suede is on the rise."
Lambert-Gorwyn's high-heel design is made from imitation exotic skin, faux leather and faux microfiber suede and will go into production and hit the market in time for spring/summer 2014.
She said of her design: "I am extremely passionate about animal welfare. I am a vegetarian and have recently made the decision to stop buying leather.
“I would love in the future to work for an ethical company, and this competition seemed like a great stepping stone and a fantastic platform to raise awareness of such an important issue."
Animal-friendly fashion is becoming increasingly popular with designers and retailers including Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Esprit, Topshop and H&M.