Shopping with a difference

By Laura Timberlake

Melbourne offers some of best shopping spots in Australia. Sometimes the department stores and shopping centres can get a little bit boring, though.

There are a variety of stores, events and services in Melbourne that offer an alternative to hitting the department stores. They are kinder ways to shop – both on your wallet and the environment.

Joanna Sim from Take 2 Markets believes that hitting the markets is a savvy way to spend your money and a sustainable way to shop.

“There’s a certain kind of thrill knowing you just picked up a barely-worn Armani leather jacket that fits beautifully for just $80,” she said.

Here are the top picks for alternative ways to get your shopping fix:

The Clothing Exchange
Why not swap instead of shop? The Clothing Exchange was founded in Melbourne in 2004 and has grown exponentially since then. They host regular events in Melbourne and Sydney. Visit for more information.

Take 2 Markets
Take 2 Markets is shopping heaven for those who love designer and high street labels, accessories and anything vintage. It’s also a great place to sell the items you no longer love. The events run all over Victoria, although there is one held monthly at Queen Victoria Market. For dates and more information, visit the website

The Suitcase Rummage
You could also try shopping out of a suitcase. These mini-scaled markets have taken off in a big way, and are becoming popular all over Australia. Find out event information at

MelTours Shopping Tours
Melbourne has a lot of hidden laneways and stores that most residents aren’t aware of. Discover some of the secret shopping spots with MELTours – they offer tours that are totally focused on shopping. Visit to book a tour.

This is a consignment store that stocks both men and women’s clothing. (Consignment means that people can bring in their items to sell and receive a percentage of the sale price.) They specialise in designer labels, and you can get high quality clothing at affordable prices. Visit for more information.

Secondo is one of the most well established consignment stores in Melbourne. It’s a great place to visit if you’re after a Louis Vuitton handbag, but can’t afford the retail prices. Visit to see what they have in store and to find out more.


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