We love clothing, style & fashion! Although we are well aware of how harmful the industry is, not only for people & animals but the planet and we want nothing to do with that side of fashion.
The truth is, the world doesn't need to produce NEW garments. There is said to be enough clothing on this planet already produced to clothe the next 6 generations of humans. THAT IS SO MUCH CLOTHING.
In fact, so much clothing there is now landfills of garments you can see from space!
As the production of new clothing increases each year, so does it's negative environmental impact.
At TCE we can't consciously contribute to these terrible practices knowing everything we know....
So the following is how we are trying to change the game
We believe our business model is the most sustainable way to shop for clothing.
We select high quality pieces that are made to last, because the idea is that we want you to love this piece for a very long time and if one day it no longer suits your lifestyle then we want you to be able to circulate that piece again in the community (provided you take good care of the garment!).
That might be through exchanging it, reselling it, gifting it to a friend or someone in need.
We want you to buy quality pieces that hold their value because our clothing shouldn't be seen as "disposable".
We commit to producing no "New" garments
We commit to making no "New" clothing products out of virgin materials, ever! You won't see us developing a limited edition clothing label out of raw materials for a quick buck.
We love to repurpose already existing garments/fabrics when the original design have been damaged so that the piece can be worn & loved again, this also doesn't drive demand for new materials to be made.
Sometimes things get damaged on the shop floor, or we miss a small hole/stain on an exchanged garment. We work with a local seamstress called Bonnie to re work & re pair these garments to prolong their life instead of discarding them. We don't currently have the capacity to take on damaged garments when you exchange (as this is obviously an extra expense, and we are a tiny business) but If you have items you need repair or altered reach out to Bonnie here:
Since 2022, we've committed to not purchasing any new unnecessary packaging (i.g the stuff that makes your order look pretty but just gets thrown away - Paperbags, Tissue paper, Thank you cards etc). All our packaging materials since then have been donated by our lovely customers.
We send our orders "Nude" in home compostable bags. When we post breakable or delicate items we use different pieces of up cycled materials to package your item. This may look a bit ugly, but we promise the garment inside won't be!
P.S if you have any unwanted tissue paper or paper bags we'd love to take them off your hands!
We want to say a huge THANK YOU here for any order you have made, or will in the future because again to reduce any waste, you won't be finding our thanks on a card in your parcel
Community & Social
We are a small family owned business that buys & sells directly to our community, keeping that money in the local economy. Unlike a lot of other vintage & preloved stores we don't order our pieces in bulk from factories overseas which means if you sell to us, you might see your pieces you used to love walking around on a different human, how cool is that!
We are building a company that promotes work & life balance which means we have flexible rosters that cater to a range of different scheduling needs of our individual employees. Our environment is creative, and there is lots of room for growth and role development as our business expands. All of our employees are paid above the award wage & they receive generous employee discounts PLUS first pick on all the amazing stock that gets exchanged ;)
How it all begin
The Conscious Exchange is owned by Emma Simcox, who is a fashion & planet loving, mother of two. From a young age, Emma always knew she wanted to work in Fashion as a buyer. Emma studied fashion at Orana Fashion Business College in Sydney but quickly felt like she was not cut out for the world of Fashion.
She went travelling to America at the age of 21 and discovered Buffalo Exchange, a vintage & preloved shop where the general public could trade & sell within the store. Emma thought this was a fantastic concept and parked it in the back of her brain as a business model she could create in Australia.
Fast forward a couple of years and Emma was a first time parent, in a new city who still wanted to indulge in fashion but could simply not afford too. She started op shopping, to fill in the long days of solo parenting and discovered she could start selling some items she found on Instagram. This instagram community quickly turned into a full blown customer base and eventually she decided to open up her own store, and this is where The Conscious Exchange was born (*longer story involved opening the retail space 3 weeks before a global pandemic, and lots of tears, and stress, and another baby)
The Conscious Exchange is now just over 3 years old, and growing more & more each day. As the facts of just how destructive the fashion industry is, are uncovered, our passion for what we are doing grows stronger.
This is the most sustainable way to buy "New to you" clothing.