Ditch generic, mass-produced gifts this Christmas and fill your string tote with sustainably made clothing and presents with soul. It’s win-win – your purchase supports artisans passionate about their craft, and you get a unique product that’s full of love.
Local producer Beechworth Honey offers tastings of more than 30 honey varieties at their Block Arcade store. From orange blossom to red gum these little jars of goodness make great gifts, as do honey beauty products, condiments and beeswax candles. Seek out the ‘bee cause’ range, which helps support initiatives to save Australia’s honey bees, which are currently under threat.
The Cats Meow
Supporting independent Australian designers, The Cats Meow is the purr-fect place to stock up on locally made fashion. Summer dresses, tailored pants and tshirts you won’t see on everyone else fill the racks; handmade bags and jewellery complete the look.
With a focus on ethical and sustainably made products, Melko stocks clothing and jewellery from Brazil and other parts of South America. Their vibrant sundresses, tops and jumpsuits in eye-catching fabrics are perfect for the summer party season. Team them with Boaonda rubber slides, thongs or sandals and a necklace of dried and dyed acai berries.
For gourmet food, gifts and homewares exclusively made in Victoria, Clementine’s in Degraves Street is a fabulous one-stop shop. Small-scale makers and artisans are behind everything stocked on the shelves, from ceramics and jewellery to tea towels and tableware.
Known for their distinctive leather shoes, as well as a fully-vegan range, Radical Yes makes a conscious effort to be sustainable. The Melbourne company eschews plastics, animal glues and nickel-based hardware to produce on-trend sneakers, sandals and bags that will go the distance. In a world of fast fashion it’s radical, yes?
Guild of Objects
Guild of Objects is a retail store, exhibition space and craft workshop that buzzes with community spirit. What better place to shop for a unique gift, be it handmade planters and vases, jewellery, or a kooky zine. Their on-site Christmas Market features a curated selection of locally made products that will put a smile on anyone’s dial. And if that’s not enough, Guild City is taking over the Vaults beside Riverland at Fed Square until December 24. Here you’ll find more cutting-edge design, art and craft.
With a focus on slow fashion and cool-but-classic cuts, Kuwaii makes clothes to last. The small production runs mean less waste, higher quality and a more individual look for shoppers. So if you don’t want to see your clothes in every mall around town, head to their beautiful Cathedral Arcade store.
Roberts & Hassett
Bespoke footwear is painstakingly crafted at Roberts & Hassett using centuries-old shoemaking techniques. Here, the stacked leather heels are secured with birch pegs and the outsoles hand-stitched to create made-to-order magic for your feet. Their beautiful belts, bags and wallets make exceptional gifts.
A local company influenced by Swedish design, Funkis crafts their trademark funky clogs from natural veggie-dyed leather and sustainable plantation timber. Ethically produced clothing and jewellery is made in Australia under their own label, and Scandi brands like Marimekko are also stocked.
Elk specialises in contemporary fashion, accessories and handcrafted leather goods, and are proud supporters of UNICEF and the Go Green initiative. Through sustainable, fair, socially positive production methods, Elk makes buying that new summer tote or sculptural necklace that little bit easier.
At Obus you’ll find womenswear of exceptional quality, made with sustainable materials and fibres. Obus only engage suppliers who comply with their high environmental and ethical standards, and to reduce their impact on the environment, they partner with Seed the Change’s tree-planting program.
The Gently Unfurling Sneak
Fashion and artwork at The Gently Unfurling Sneak are all based on designer Anika Cook’s vibrant, surrealist illustrations. Get kitted out here and your frock might swim with fish, your top burst forth with native flowers. Their workshop is directly behind the bricks-and-mortar shop; what they can’t make onsite they outsource to other ethical makers.