How a Local Retro Shop is Helping Vegans Glamourise Bag to Boot | Retroesque in Arundel

How a New Retro Shop in Arundel is offering locals Fantastic Vegan footwear, with matching bags to boot! All cruelty-free!

When making the choice to go Vegan, a person can quite quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the life change. Not only does it mean a diet change, but beauty products, hygiene products, even clothes, can need a drastic reboot! But as Bob Dylan said, the times they are a changin’, and traditionally non-vegan companies are introducing more and more vegan-friendly options. ‘Hurrah’ say we!

Retroesque The Old Printworks Shopping Arcade- Tarrant Street, Arundel

Where can you find cruelty free products?

Because of the amazing blogs and forums out there, this is a great time to be vegan. A quick search on your phone or a post to your favourite vegan group can give you answers in seconds, and the PETA website also has a great directory of vegan and cruelty-free companies. Superdrug and the Co-operative are favourites among those looking for cruelty-free and vegan shampoos & conditioners, body wash and dental care, as well as the UK brand ‘Astonish‘, that offer an extensive range of vegan and cruelty-free cleaning products.


In the wardrobe department, however, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to find vegan-friendly options, and that is why it is really exciting that Retroesque in Arundel, West Sussex now stock vegan shoes! Previously from Horsham, this retro clothing and accessories boutique has moved to Arundel and stocks all you need to look retro-ready! The fact that small, local shops like Retroesque are stocking vegan-friendly options just goes to show that we really can shop till we drop locally, without any animals needing to suffer for our fashion choices.

So, what do you need to know about Vegan shoes?

The Vegan Society website explains “Finding synthetic alternatives to leather shoes is a breeze, as most large retailers stock their shelves with leather-free alternatives.” They explain, however, that it is not just the leather symbol you need to be aware of. “…some large retailers still use animal-derived glue in their products…so even if you purchase leather-free shoes they still may not be vegan-friendly.”

 Retroesque Rhea and Santiago - RubyShoo Brand
Retroesque Rhea and Santiago – RubyShoo Brand

However, the great news is synthetic alternatives are available and many retailers use them. And this includes the entire Zaxy range available in Retroesque, and many Ruby Shoo Styles. The shop has a range of vegan products and is also dog-friendly (as much of Arundel is!). The Ruby Shoo website reads, “Step out in classic Ruby Shoo style knowing you are doing something good and looking great at the same time with our vegan range.” You can view their full collection here.

‘Sussex Vegan’ recently had the opportunity to chat with the owner of Retroesque to get the low down on their latest order!

The owner, Victoria Clifford, opened her shop in Arundel in the summer of 2018 and says, “Arundel seemed like a good fit for my business. being slightly quirky, and a good middle ground from Worthing and Chichester, and even Horsham where I started originally.”

When asked if she’s enjoying it so far, Victoria replies, “I’m really happy I chose to make the move so far, everyone has been so welcoming and friendly…I seem to be getting great comments from people.”

 When asked what her favourite thing about the Ruby Shoo vegan shoes is, Victoria says, “It appears it’s not that difficult to achieve a vegan-friendly shoe that has style and class and can be pretty!”

Retroesque 'navy' in colour - RubyShoo Brand
Retroesque ‘navy’ in colour – RubyShoo Brand


The edgy retro style in these shoes is clear, and the adorable matching vegan handbags compliment them so well.

 When asked about the Zaxy brand, Victoria knows her stuff, claiming “…they are ridiculously comfy, and they smell awesome (they are infused with a scent during the making process), and…they are made from 100% recycled materials, are 100% recyclable, and vegan-friendly!” Find out what Zaxy has to offer here.

Don’t worry if they don’t have your size, Victoria is “…happy to stock more vegan shoes and garments in the future, if they fit with the business model I’m trying to achieve then for sure, I don’t see why not.”

That’s the shoes covered. And a matching handbag seals the deal. What about glamming it up even more…

The Quick Flick
The Quick Flick

As well as some truly stunning footwear, Retroesque offers a revolutionary piece of kit for your retro make-up bag. Vegan and cruelty-free, ‘The Quick Flick’ allows a simple and easy ‘stamp’ on the edge of your eye to create an amazing effect. This Australian winged liner is available in Retroesque, Arundel and comes in 3 different sizes, Petite (8mm), Modest (10mm) or Grande (12mm). This simple, yet innovative, product lets even the most amateur retro-lover look the part in seconds with this easy ‘hack’.

Victoria says, “The most popular size is 10mm (Modest)”. She says they are “super easy to use, waterproof, smudge proof, I have customers that use it daily, and ones that use it when they have an event or occasion” She goes on to admit, “I use mine on a weekly basis to create the fabulous flicks… LOVE IT!” she adds, “Dawn Gracie loves it!” too. Dawn reviewed the quick Flick on her Facebook pagLIVE and she told me “I didn’t want to like it and didn’t expect to, but this product proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks… and flicks!”

Dawn Gracie: Image by: Moving Pics Boudoir

Dawn Gracie is a local 50’s and 60’s entertainer and says, “My entertainment style and event vision is always centred on the customer experience and how to create immersive interaction so that it really feels as if you have been transported back to the 50’s & 60’s”.


Retroesque will be attending Dawn’s Vintage Weekender on the 7th October, find out more about it Here.


 Find your ‘wings’ by heading to the Old Print Works Shopping Arcade on Tarrant Street, Arundel today! Victoria says, “Just walking through Arundel is always a nice experience, I love the feel of it, the architecture and history, I can’t wait to get involved with the events that are hosted here. I will have to find time to explore now that I’m here.”

Retroesque Arundel

We’d love to hear of your favourite vegan fashion finds in Sussex- comment below your favourite places in Sussex to shop vegan! Not sure if your favourite shop offers vegan options…I humbly present my favourite quote from The Vegan Society website….”The more we demonstrate demand, the more likely it is companies will provide us with increased vegan options.”- this is very true and goes with the sentiment of ‘You don’t ask, you don’t get’. 

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