Ecommerce Success Stories - Immaculate Vegan



Apr 19th, 2024

As part of Onport's collaboration with the UK Ecommerce Trade Commission, we chose to highlight some of our UK customers as excellent examples of UK-based companies that have expanded into cross-border ecommerce operations. Immaculate Vegan is one such company. Here is their story.

Company Introduction

In the realm of vegan fashion, Immaculate Vegan has emerged as a pioneering force driven by a core ethos of sustainability and compassion. Co-founded by Annick Ireland and Simon Bell, Immaculate Vegan was born out of a simple yet profound realization. While the market for vegan food flourished online, the same couldn't be said for vegan clothing. Thus, sparked by Annick's discovery and Simon's expertise in ecommerce, the brand embarked on a journey to redefine ethical fashion in the digital landscape.

Company Representative

Simon Bell | Fo-Founder | Immaculate Vegan


1 - Can you explain how the concept for Immaculate Vegan came about and what is the core idea behind the brand?

SB - “The idea for the brand came about from our founder Annick - she discovered that, while there was a market for vegan food online, it was pretty difficult to find vegan clothing, so she started an Instagram account to highlight pieces of clothing she found. Soon, those brands approached her, and she realized the market potential. Annick then reached out to me, and as my background was in an ecommerce agency, we created the brand as it is today together.”

IV blog image 1

2 - What challenges did you encounter when you were starting off as a UK ecommerce company?

SB - “We faced the typical challenges that any start-up faces, such as manpower problems, budget constraints, and time. Legislative changes also caused some headaches; for example, duties that previously didn’t apply, now do. This caused a lot of issues in the area of returns, which we had to work hard to overcome.”

iv blog image 2

3 - What are the most significant differences between traditional UK brick-and-mortar and ecommerce retail?

SB - “One of the biggest differences is the level of personalization that e-commerce offers over brick and mortar stores; data availability allows you to specifically target a consumer type far better than through more traditional channels. Of course, there are drawbacks, partially for those in the ecommerce fashion space: returns. You can’t really try on a piece of clothing online as you can in person. People have tried to develop workarounds, but it has never worked out. This makes returns a more significant, core element of your business than it would be if it were a physical retail outlet.”

IV blog image 3

4 - From your experience of operating internationally, what have you learned, and what advice would you give UK companies that want to launch cross-border operations?

SB - “You need to do your homework and be aware of and appreciate the differences in the new markets you hope to expand into. Another piece of advice that I would offer to other companies thinking of launching cross-border and international operations is to reach out to those who have done it already and learn from them what they have done and how they did it.”

IV blog image 4

5 - What role does technology play in your ecommerce operations, and how important is it?

SB - “For us, technology is absolutely fundamental. Onport is a fundamental platform for integrating with all our many retailers; it is fundamental to our business. How we integrate with our suppliers means that we have to rely a lot on apps, improving our UX and ensuring that we have a robust technical infrastructure supporting us, such as Onport. The size of your business will also dictate to what extent the role of technology will play, of course.”

Navigate your business with Onport, a multi-vendor marketplace solution to scale your operations.

©2024 Onport. All rights reserved