Shop local this festive season

‘Tis the season – and a great time to shop for environmentally friendly gifts. Here are a few local ideas to kick start your shopping this festive period.

Experiences make the best gifts

Choosing sustainable gifts can be a real challenge, one way to overcome this is to purchase an experience for someone instead. There are many experiences unique to Port Phillip – here are just a few to get you started:

Be wowed by larger-than-life metal sculptures: Head to the Met Art World museum in Port Melbourne to see impressive metal sculptures ranging from metal tankard mugs to giant dinosaurs and superhero sculptures.

See a movie in grand style: Sit back, relax and enjoy a movie in the grand old Astor Theatre in Windsor. Purchase a gift card at the Palace shop.

Can you escape? Feel like pushing your wits to their very limits? Then why not get your family or friends together to try and break out of one of Rush’s thrilling escape rooms in St Kilda – purchase a gift voucher.

Get out on the water: Book a stand-up paddle boarding or kite surfing lesson available from the St Kilda Sea Baths.

Dinner and a show: Buy a ticket to an upcoming show at the Palais, the Espy, George Lane, Memo Music Hall and more. Visit What’s On St Kilda for a comprehensive list of what’s on offer.

Gift a plant

For the garden gurus, a plant is a gift every green thumb will love and also adds to the important biodiversity of Port Phillip! 

Bili Nursey specialises in indigenous plants – a great gift idea ahead of the hot summer that is forecasted. You can pick up a plant at the nursery, located in the Fishermans Bend area of Port Melbourne or even jump online to purchase a gift voucher.  

Handmade or local gifts 

There are several markets and shops in Port Phillip offering locally made and Australian made items. Here are just a few:

Space2b Social Design is a social enterprise supporting people seeking asylum, refugees and those newly arrived. Their retail store has a fabulous range of products with everything locally sourced. Address: 144 Chapel St, St Kilda 

Farm Goat hand crafts soaps using milk collected from farms in Northern Victoria. The products are made locally in their store in St Kilda: Shop 6/63 Fitzroy St, St Kilda.

The Trust Market showcases handmade art, design, homegrown goods and more at the beautiful Ripponlea Estate. It’s on Sunday 17 December from 10 am to 3pm. Address: 192 Hotham St, Ripponlea.

Vintage,  recycled and second hand treasures

The best gifts can be found in the range of op shops around Port Phillip. If you're looking for fashion that's high quality, sustainable and on-trend then head on down to the South Melbourne Market.

Remedy is a sustainable clothing fashion brand that creates a diverse range of stylish apparel using recycled materials. Embracing the principals of circular economy, Remedy uses 100% recycled materials in their clothing. Find them at the centre aisle of the South Melbourne Market.

Gigi Vintage is one of the newest vintage stores to open at the South Melbourne Market. The owner, Dana, is passionate about sustainable fashion and making the most of all the wonderful clothes in the world already by salvaging and improving them. Most vintage pieces are higher quality than the modern ‘fast’ fashion pieces, so you will get a longer life span out of them and importantly reduce textile waste!

SisterWorks will be popping up at the South Melbourne Market and offering gift wrapping including repurposing old advertising banners from Kathmandu and Gazman as wrapping material, transforming them into gift wrap using the traditional Japanese Furoshiki technique. 

Timeless Pieces will also be popping up the South Melbourne Market with a beautiful range of handcrafted Christmas wreaths, Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments on offer. 

Shop the large range of op shops in our city to uncover interesting treasures to give as gifts, or even put together your favourite pre-loved gifts in a hamper.

Remedy owners, Casey Brimble and Marcus Amor Smith

Donate on someone’s behalf

A great way to avoid buying presents that may not be used or appreciated, is to donate to an organisation on someone's behalf. These gift ideas all help causes in Port Phillip:

  • Help protect St Kilda’s iconic penguins by donating to EarthCare St Kilda.
  • Adopt a dolphin or whale with the Dolphin Research Institute, a charity that works to protect the precious marine life in Port Phillip Bay.
  • Support research and advocacy for the bay by donating to the EcoCentre.
  • Help those in need by donating to Port Phillip Community Group who are supporting schools, rooming houses and local residents.
  • Support new parents’ in need by donating to St Kilda Mums. Most needed items include nappies, baby toiletries, reversible car seats, baby wipes and volunteers. 

Donate unwanted items

Remember to donate any unwanted kitchen appliances you may receive as gifts to The Elwood Kitchen Library