BY TIFFANY FORBES
Second-hand fashion markets are the hot new trend being embraced by Melbourne shoppers for their diminished impact both on the hip pocket and the environment.
Mentone hosts bi-monthly Hunter Markets where social media influencers take turns to put their own wardrobes up for sale.
Hunter Markets founder Sarah Kokkinos, 21, said she started the market four years ago in the hope of “encouraging girls to shop better for both their wallet and the globe”.
Ms Kokkinos, who has two older sisters, said she was no stranger to “hand-me-downs”.
“I think that’s how it all kind of started,” she said.
Ms Kokkinos said the clothes were handpicked from influencers’ wardrobes.
Keep Victoria Beautiful chair Dick Gross said Australians were “over” unsustainable fashion.
“We have a problem with consumption,” Mr Gross said.
“Often we wear [clothes] once and chuck [them] out," he said.
“We don’t take into account the emissions that come from making [clothes]...manufacturing processes, power, transport.
“It’s time to focus on increasing the longevity of the stuff we make."
Influencer and regular stallholder Samantha Jay said she appreciated the Hunter Markets' promotion of sustainable shopping.
“I keep [my clothes] in perfect condition, so it was rewarding seeing them get a second life.”
Ms Jay said she was able to sell the “majority” of her wardrobe to Hunter Markets' attendees.
YouTube influencer, Chloe Weight, 14, said she thought Hunter Markets helped to break the fast-fashion cycle.
“I know many young people can’t afford to invest in quality pieces, so they resort to fast fashion sites such as Romwe or Zaful,” she said.
Ms Weight said clothes markets helped her save money while still shopping big brand labels.
“I’ve managed to find designer dresses, jumpsuits, heels, and jewellery at a fraction of their retail cost,” Ms Weight said.
Ms Kokkinos said clothes markets allow shoppers to express themselves through their own fashion tastes, rather than conforming to trends.
“Retail has a strong grasp on what we wear, and the trends we conform to,” Ms Kokkinos said.
“That’s why I love buying second hand,” she said.
“You get to curate [a wardrobe] you really love.”
The next Hunter Market will be held on September 15 from 9am-1pm.