This inductive study explores the strategies deployed to gain venture legitimacy in an environment characterised by competing institutional logics, namely sustainable entrepreneurship. We draw on cases of sustainable entrepreneurs to highlight the variety of legitimation strategies used whilst explaining the decision making processes underpinning the choice of a particular strategy. We note that attempts to gain venture legitimacy may over-ride ambitions to enhance the proto-institutional status of sustainable entrepreneurship. In doing so, we contribute to extant literature on new venture legitimation strategies by highlighting the important role played by institutional context.