Shops We Love: Retro Eco Store!

 This month’s feature shop is Retro Eco Store! Founder Amanda is a local Melbourne girl with mad photography skills capturing some seriously retro looks for her brand new line of vintage and second hand fashion!


From 70s Woodstock Festival Vibes to your next modern festival looks Retro Eco Store has a look for you and for such an affordable price!!

Make sure you follow @retroecostore on Instagram, check out Amanda’s collection here and have a read about her vintage experiences below!  

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started buying vintage!
A. I am a twenty-three year old Melbourne girl studying to be a teacher, coordinator of OSHC and owner of Retro Eco Store! 

As a teenager, I loved certain aesthetics - grunge, vintage, 35mm film, hippie, Bohemia, 1970s which I expressed through Tumblr back in 2012. I discovered Brunswick Street in my first year of university and found a love for the vintage stores I saw lining the ever-so-hipster popular street in Melbourne’s east. Unable to afford the vintage on my $12 an hour deli job, I opted for more affordable options such as vintage warehouse sales. My first vintage purchases were a $60 GUESS denim jacket from still today my favourite store Yesteryear Vintage.

Q. Tell us about the last vintage item you bought.

A. It was a gorgeous mesh coin bohemian dancer belt / bandeau for my store!

Q. Do you have a favourite vintage item from your personal collection? Tell us about it.

A. Probably my green cord flares and that original vintage GUESS denim jacket. I had no idea it was GUESS until my sister pointed it out weeks later! The green cords were supposed to be for my store, but sometimes your finds are just meant for you. They make my ass look great so how could I not!
Q. Do you have a favourite decade or vintage style or do you look at all age periods?

A. Absolutely - the Woodstock era of the 1970s is a big influence on me. Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody prior to his haircut! Fashion is  to die for. Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon era. Otherwise, I love the sporty 80s vibe - GLOW on Netflix is a great representation of that!

Q. What vintage items do you buy the most and why?

A. Lately, festival items as summer is upcoming and I believe festival gear is in demand - and it is so goddamn gorgeous.

Q. Where do you buy most of your vintage items? Online, what websites? In person, what stores? Op shops? Markets? Which ones and why?

A. Online: Facebook marketplace is the most cost effective and enables you to search for exactly what it is you’re looking for. In person: vintage markets, farmers markets, preloved / second hand markets, charity op shops / stores, recycled goods stores. All I find to be equally effective in finding what it is I’m after.

Q. Do you look for cheap finds, or invest in something special every now and then?

A. Cheap finds most definitely. Unfortunately, we live in a world of cheap, fast fashion and it’s what people generally want. Whilst we can’t end the large scale issue, by purchasing and reselling these items it reduces the impact on the industry by a lot - as shown by recent statistics of the rate in which second hand items are being purchased, rather than buying new from large retailers such as Zara or Cotton On. 

Q. What is your intention when you go to a website such as Etsy or Instagram? Do you look for something in particular or browse? If so what do you search for?

A. I generally don’t use Etsy for purchasing anything, myself or the store as I find it a little pricey and has never had what I’m actually looking for. Instagram on the other hand - there is a business for everything and more. A perfect place to find ethically made clothing - I recently found women who make and sell clothing to fit you personally as the customer and I was amazed at how this industry is making a comeback in Australia. It is the beginning of the end of fast fashion. 


Q. Do you think there is sufficient supply of vintage items in Australia online and in store/markets?
A. Absolutely. Vintage is the future of fashion.

Q.When did you set up your own online vintage business and why?

A. April I started and I believe I launched in May. I’ve always had a love of vintage clothing, and it was meeting Teddi Emerald of Trash Byron Bay at a yoga retreat in Bali and learning her story, I decided it was a cool idea to begin as well. I see the issues with fast fashion, and decided instead of guilt buying things at Cotton On monthly, I would throw myself into the vintage industry and do my part for the planet. 

Q. How do you decide which items you keep and which items you sell?

A. “Do I need it?”

“Does it suit me?”

“Will I wear it?”

90% of items go to the store, and the odd piece goes into my collection :P


Q. What do you think is the key to your success with an online vintage retail shop?

A. Marketing & hustle. Making connections and being friends with people who are doing better than you. Sticking to what your own style is, whilst still taking on advice of others in order to evolve and grow and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Following a bunch of people on the weekly helps too!

Q. What is the most challenging part of owning an online vintage retail store so far?

A. Making sales. Convincing people online you are worth their hard earned money is bloody hard!

Q. What would your advice be to someone looking to start their own vintage shop?

A. Do your research, look at other vintage stores and their marketing, and what people are buying. Set a budget and do not make an ABN!! You will need to allow a fair bit of money to have a wide selection of clothing as the more you have, the more chance of selling. 

Q. Do you ever host markets or pop up shops or do you stick to the online? How come?
A. Pop up coming! Retro Eco will be heading to the St Andrews market out in the bush in September!

Q. What do you think is important  when marketing solely (or mostly) online?
A. Conveying your purpose across. People love something they can relate to. For example, global warming is a huge crisis right now and fast fashion plays a part in that. Therefore, sustainability ultimately is a selling point for vintage stores. Also that the content is appealing to the eye.
Q. Is there anything else you want people to know about being a vintage seller or about your store?
A. Be yourself and be patient. Make your store around who you are, and your buyers will come to you. 

That’s all from Amanda for now, but make sure you follow Retro Eco Store on Instagram to keep updated on her new products, deals and super cute pics! Amanda and I have already been shopping together twice (very successfully!)  and will be collaborating and supporting each other more in the future so make sure you give her  a follow and show her some love and support !

Make sure you follow @retroecostore on Instagram, check out Amanda’s collection here !