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Vegan perfumes and ‘vraps’ among the things on offer at Ipswich Vegan Festival

PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 October 2018

Vegan Festival October 2018 ITFC, Portman Road.   Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan Festival October 2018 ITFC, Portman Road. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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Hundreds of people flocked to Ipswich Town’s Portman Road football ground today but rather than watching the Tractor Boys they were getting a taste for all things vegan instead.

Clothes, dog treats, perfumes, hot drinks, ‘vraps’, chocolate and chakras were among the variety of vegan produce on display - for the third Ipswich Vegan Festival.

After attracting more than 1,200 people last year, it is hoped today’s buzzing atmosphere will help to raise lots of money for welfare charities and increase awareness about animal cruelty.

With live music from an Amy Winehouse tribute act and other local performers, inspiring talks, advice stalls, vegan food and lot’s more- the day proved a huge success.

Helen, from Colchester, attended the festival last year and decided to come back again, after she was overwhelmed by the range of products on offer.

Vegan chocolate in a range of different flavours. Picture: RACHEL EDGEVegan chocolate in a range of different flavours. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“It’s absolutely fantastic here,” said Helen, who usually cooks a lot of pasta and sauce dishes at home.

“There’s so many different things available to try and it’s great to know that I can eat it all, without having to worry.”

“It’s actually really easy to be a vegan now I’m used to it but at the beginning I will admit it was really hard,” said Helen, who believes strongly in eating ethically and looking after animals.

After the first vegan festival took place at Ipswich Town Hall two years ago, the event has continued to grow with 50 stalls this year.

Owner of the only vegan cafe in Ipswich, Hullabaloo, John Halls, and one of his loyal customers. Picture: RACHEL EDGEOwner of the only vegan cafe in Ipswich, Hullabaloo, John Halls, and one of his loyal customers. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Marcelle Bobby visited the festival for the first time and was impressed by the extensive range of stalls at the show. She has already pledged to return next year.

“I’ve been a vegetarian for over 40 years and a vegan for 12 years,” said the 61-year-old. “I find eating out at big chain restaurants really tough as I always only have one choice, and that’s if I’m lucky.

“This is why it’s so great to see a range of local independent cafes and restaurants here. These are the people we should be celebrating.”

Mrs Bobby, who lives in Ipswich, said she was amazed by the number of cakes on offer and was particularly wowed by the Norwegian Bakers.

Mountains of sweet treats were on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGEMountains of sweet treats were on offer. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Another man, who admits he was there for the food, said he became vegan in order to lose weight.

Peter Babinski, originally from Poland, has been vegan for the last three years and has lost a lot of weight through eating plant-based foods.

“Once you’re in the circle and become used to eating vegan food, it’s really not hard to follow but, of course, there are always temptations,” said Mr Babinski, who moved to Ipswich 10 years ago.

The organiser of the festival, and owner of Pudz animal sanctuary in Lincoln, Sheena Fairless, runs the festivals all over the country to raise money for animal welfare charities.

Clothing, bags and other items were among the range of vegan products. Picture: RACHEL EDGEClothing, bags and other items were among the range of vegan products. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“It’s great to see so many people enjoying our event and now more and more people are turning vegan.”

The team is already preparing to book Portman Road for next year to respond to its popularity and the continued rise in interest.

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