Right now, the world is at a standstill. The earth is literally vibrating less as we are all stuck inside until further notice, waiting to know if we can go back to work, dance with our friends, and hug our loved ones once more.
Unfortunately, while it may feel like time isn’t passing at all, it is. And like many of us, a lot of small businesses are suffering. So, I decided to pull together a list of amazing local businesses that need our support more than ever. And if you are financially able I encourage you to support local as much as you can. That may be through buying online, purchasing gift cards to use later, or simply by referring them to a friend. Every little truly does help, and will support your local community through this uncertain period.
This post was inspired by Molly (@mfarai), who wrote a brilliant blog about supporting her local businesses in Perth.
I asked my followers on instagram to tag their favourite local businesses in a recent post, and for local businesses to comment if they wanted to be included in a little local guide so I can let you all know how they can be supported, even while we are all stuck at home.
Small Businesses in Melbourne we can support, even from home
Good Love is Here
Good Love is a vegan restaurant in St Kilda that is well known for amazing food and bottomless lunches. They have a strong focus on local produce and even make their own rhubarb gin. When they reopen, there will be a new menu, but for an inkling of what they usually offer, the summer menu included phish and chips, poutine, lychee curry, the KFC bowl, the zinger burger, and New York Pizza slices in an assortment of flavours. Oh, and I am personally drooling like Homer Simpson to try the smores puff pie dessert.
How you can support them from home: Good Love is offering home delivery service within a 20km radius of their restaurant. You can get a good look at what they have to offer on their instagram or for a full list you can enquire or order by emailing party@GoodLoveVegan.com. Shake up your usual pesto pasta dinners with something local and made with love.
One of the first truly conscious businesses I stumbled upon in Melbourne and still one of my favourite; Pachamama Cafe is nestled neatly on a corner of Brunswick and is part delicious conscious cafe, part local and organic grocery store. They have a book nook and a super comfy lounge area complete with plugs so you can work or charge up your gadgets. Plus the afternoon sun makes it an extremely tempting spot for a snooze. The cafe menu is fresh and local, and caters to a variety of diets, while the grocery store stocks a wide range of local goodies, including veggies, deli items, beauty products and an ever expanding plastic/ packaging free section of pantry staples.
How you can support them from home: While the grocery store is still open for business, you can also order staples and veggie boxes for home delivery. Pachamama has also just joined Bopple, a home grown Australian company that allows you to order items from the cafe and pickup safely from their store, reducing contact. Soon, you will also be able to order cafe items for home delivery, as Pachamama will be keeping their staff busy riding bicycles to your door with their new eco-delivery service! Did I mention all their packaging is biodegradable too? Yippee!
Hello Friend Foods
Do you love cheese but wish it plant based? Look no further because Hello Friend have the worlds most delicious vegan cheeses (I have no proof of this, except the tears of joy I cried when I first tastes their Brie in puff pastry). Hello Friend was created by Bree and Matthew, who believe people shouldn’t have to sacrifice great tasting food in order to eat ethically and sustainably. Their vegan cheese range began with a delicious mozzarella, and shortly after expanded to haloumi, Brie in puff pastry, springthyme havarti, and most recently a creamy cheese sauce for the perfect dip or mac-n-cheese.
How you can support them from home: You can find all of the delicious cheeses on their website, with shipping available to all of Melbourne. Plus you can also purchase gift certificates if you want to support now, use later. Be sure to look out for sales too!
You may only be allowed out for some daily exercise, but you still need to think about sun protection! SunButter is a natural and plastic free sunscreen that is easy to use and super strong. It is water resistant for up to four hours, reef safe and has an SPF of 50.
Personally, I love it! It takes a little bit of rubbing to get a decent amount of product out of the tin (unless you dig your fingers in) but this is so it stays a good consistency even on the hottest of Australian summer days. It rubs into your skin like a dream and feels amazing (I have sampled a couple of other natural sunscreens that make my skin feel weird, this one is perfect). It beautifully lives up to it’s name of feeling like butter. Plus SunButter have a range of colourful zincs that look great and keeps your skin safe for long sessions in the sea!
How can you support them from home: Right now, SunButter is offering free shipping when you buy any two tins or more of any SunButter product. You may be going out less at the moment, but this (luckily) won’t last forever, and you can put this super sunscreen to good use.
Big Blue Cosmetica
Big Blue Cosmetica is one of my favourite local skincare companies and I have now used them for over a year. The ever growing range includes scrubs, creams, lip balms and more, all packaged as plastic-free as possible, with as many Australian ingredients as possible. My personal favourites include the Heavy Duty Hand and Body Balm which is packaged in an aluminium tin that is easy to refill, reuse or recycle. The incredible tinted lip balms are in simple cardboard tubes that can be easily home composted. And the Insect Repellent spray that I have used every time I do a home workout comes in gorgeous blue glass bottle. There are even some products with no packaging at all!
How you can support them from home: Usually you can catch Tina from Big Blue Cosmetica in person selling her products at St Kilda Market every weekend. However, until further notice the store will be entirely online. There are plenty of goodies for your body, your hair and your home so if you happen to run out of anything from shampoo to soap you are sure to find it here. Plus you will be helping a small business that in turn helps other small Aussie businesses to keep going.
Kinds Of Grace
On the hunt for a super stylish, ethically made, cruelty-free and vegan handbag? Kinds Of Grace has got you covered. Their headquarters are in Melbourne, while the bags are made in an ethical studio close to Hong Kong. They use vegan synthetic PU and Pinatex leather in their bags which have a significantly lower environmental impact than cow skin leather, plus Kinds Of Grace donate 20% of all profits to animal and environmental protection charities. Personally, I have never seen such high quality and sexy vegan leather bags before and I can see these being extremely popular with anyone who just wants a stylish bag – And it just so happens to be vegan, bonus!
How you can support them from home: Kinds Of Grace have a great online store and FAQ section that can answer any of your questions, even during this awkward period. While shipping will take some extra time orders are still being processed as normal and every single one helps this business keep going and providing an income for their staff.
Gliese 504 is a small Melbourne based fashion business that stands against overproduction. I hate waste at the best of times and there is waaaaaay too much waste in the fashion industry, This is why Gliese 504 uses deadstock men’s business shirts for their collection. Using deadstock means otherwise wasted items will be used, and in this case they are used to make beautiful ethically made women’s wear and hair accessories. Oh and the collections are called Re Shirt and Re Shair, which I love.
How can you support them from home: Prep for when you finally stop wearing pyjamas all day and purchase your favourite Gliese 504 items online. Or, simply follow them on social media and spread the word to anyone you think is interested in a top notch work wardrobe.
Theo The Label
Theo The Label brings comfy, stylish, and easy to wear clothing to us all. Each piece can be matched with multiple items making them wardrobe staples to last you for years to come, and of course they are ethically made with care so that they will last for years to come. You can watch a behind the scenes video from Esther, the designer behind these beautiful clothes, to see her ethical processes in action. Theo has clothing ranges for both men and women and the prices are extremely affordable especially considering everyone in the design chain is paid and treated fairly.
How can you support them from home: I love Theo the Label because it combines effortless style with comfort, which means even while I am stuck at home and wearing my comfy clothes, I feel like I look good! And when I do return to the outside world, I will still be wearing them. You can support Theo The Label, and all their staff by buying online and by following along on social media. You can also purchase gift vouchers for friends, or for yourself to use next time there is something you need.
Luna + Sun
Luna + Sun are a fairly new ethical business, but they are already one of my local favourites. Their first collection, Samaya, uses linen because it is strong, heat resistant, hypo-allergenic and fully biodegradable. While there are limited styles, each piece has beautiful colour options, and a few have only just been released! These colours include black, olive, turmeric and terracotta. Plus, Luna + Sun are one of the few ethical labels that stock up to size 18.
How can you support them from home: You can support Luna + Sun by purchasing their beautiful clothing online from their website or their new stockist (and fellow amazing Australian business) Biome. Special bonus: The first 30 customers who order from Biome will also receive a free scrunchie made from the linen offcuts of your garment.
Vegan Style design and sell high quality vegan footwear for women, men and kids. Their in-house label, Zette Shoes, is designed right here in Melbourne, and each shoe is hand crafted in Europe. Zette Shoes are a premium ethical, vegan footwear company, that come in styles that are bold and playful, as well as elegant and sophisticated. Plus each pair is named after the rescue cats they have fostered at Vegan Style HQ which is now well over 100! You can find the perfect cruelty-free shoe for any occasion on Vegan Style’s website, along with vegan accessories, clothing and cosmetics.
How can you support them from home: For starters, last time I checked there was a pretty huge sale on a lot of their items so definitely head straight to the online store to check that out! You can also purchase gift cards that are valid for a full year in case you want to support them now, but are unsure what you want to order (or if you want to treat someone special).
Stride is Australia’s ethical version of online stores like ASOS and The Iconic. There are over 75 conscious Australian labels, and you can easily shop your values by selecting the category of your choice (e.g. vegan or environment) or checking each products badges that show which value categories it falls into. With each order, Stride Store also gives $1 to a charity of your choice with i=change. Upon the completion of your order, you are given the opportunity to choose what project you with your $1 to go towards.
How you can support them from home: When you support Stride, you are supporting all of the small ethical brands they stock, without having to visit lots of different websites or paying various shipping prices (in fact, Stride Store offers free shipping and returns). Aside from shopping online you can also purchase gift cards so you can invest now, and decide what items to purchase later. Stride is still new and is always expanding, so I am certain there will always be something to float your boat.
P.S I am affiliated with Stride and you can use code BEKIND for 10% off your order!
Bohemia Bay Studio
Bohemia Bay is an affordable photography studio for hire located in Highett, Melbourne’s beautiful Bayside. It is a modern, cosy space with exceptional features, ample daylight and all the professional equipment you might need for your shoot. They specialise in providing a space for ethical fashion and product photography, and content creation services.
How you can support them from home: You can help by sharing Bohemia Bay Studio’s website or details with with friends who have businesses and need photography services. You can hire the studio for your own shoot, or hire a photographer for your ethical product photography. Bohemia Bay Studio can also create content for social media and websites.
Kind By Design
This is my own personal graphic design business, and since my full time job in stasis for the foreseeable future, I can devote more time to freelancing for ethical businesses. I have experience multiple areas of graphic design, including making adverts for print or digital, logos, social media imagery and publication design.
How you can support me from home: If you are part of an ethical business that has been waiting for some downtime to focus on their brand, or wants to kick up your advertising a notch get in contact with me via firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you are simply a lovely person who wants to spread the word, I would love you to keep me in mind if you know anyone with a small business.