MELBOURNE NEWS

Economy

Slow fashion brand Elk sets up shop in Lygon Street

A person standing in a clothes store looking at a bag

Slow-fashion label Elk knew it was time to ease out the seams when the perfect shopfront came up in Carlton.

In the search for a fifth retail space for her sustainable fashion brand Elk, co-founder Marnie Goding had a crystal-clear wish list.

‘Our strategy is to look for destination stores that are part of a community hub,’ Marnie said.

Elk was searching for a shopfront that stood out, somewhere that people were not in a hurry. Somewhere customers could take their time to soak up the ambience, and Elk’s slow-fashion ethos.

All roads pointed to a prominent corner shop on Lygon Street, as a counterpoint to the tiny, busy jewel of a boutique on Little Collins in the city.

‘The type of people we’re looking to bring into the store is different to our small city shop, where it’s workers and people in town for the day or an event.’

The new Lygon Street retail space allows Elk to have a deeper conversation with its customers.

‘Someone can come in and talk about more than just an item. About how each product is made, where it’s made, what it’s made from, who makes it. It gives us the chance to discuss conscious consumerism.’

‘That opportunity only really exists in a retail space. It’s more experiential, rather than transactional,’ Marnie said.

There were other factors that ticked the boxes when location scouts from our Shopfront Activation Program mentioned the Lygon Street shopfront to Elk.

‘You need a clear shopfront that stands out so people can find you easily from the footpath and passing traffic,’ Marnie said.

‘It’s got a nice big glass shopfront, it’s in a good spot at an intersection with well-established businesses around us,’ Marnie said. At first they took an initial lease as a holiday pop-up.

Following the runaway success of the pop-up over summer, Elk has since parlayed a short-term lease into a five-year extension, so the brand can truly become part of the community.

City of Melbourne is transforming empty shopfronts into creative spaces, bespoke displays and pop-up shops under the Shopfront Activation Program, a $2.6 million activation program from the City of Melbourne and Victorian Government.

‘Lygon Street has such a vibrant retail scene. We are nestled in among well-established brands, but still prominent enough to stand out from the footpath and the road.’

Other drawcards included the iconic Cinema Nova, just a short stroll away for patrons passing time before the movie, and a whole neighbourhood of surrounding eateries.

Knowing they already had readymade customers in the area also helped seal the deal.

‘We know from our online sales that we have a strong customer base in Carlton, so the local market is absolutely as important as the visitors we hope to attract.’

‘Lygon Street gives an opportunity for an independent, family-owned business to grow, to find a new audience and strengthen an already great business.’

We are transforming empty shopfronts into creative spaces, bespoke displays and pop-up shops under the Shopfront Activation Program, a $2.6 million activation program from the City of Melbourne and Victorian Government.

Share this story

You may also like
Invest Melbourne supports business growth

Invest Melbourne supports business growth

Unlock your business potential with support from expert advisers and join the many innovative and successful companies investing in Melbourne. Melbourne is projected to be the fastest-growing capital city from 2023–24, and the nation’s most populated city by 2030....

Activating Docklands

Activating Docklands

Vibrant new pop-up shopfronts in Docklands are breathing new life into our waterfront community. A market, but indoors is how Julia Mateariki describes the new Your Locals store in Docklands. The pop-up shop stocks a varied range of products, including clothing,...

Turkish artisans team up at Micro-Labs on Bourke Street

Turkish artisans team up at Micro-Labs on Bourke Street

Marvel at handmade leather shoes crafted using a 600-year-old method and sand-free bamboo beach towels made by Turkish artisans at Micro-Labs until 30 November.  Shoemakers Serenay and Can of Akana also make leather bags and house slippers, while Irem...

Explore the city with the Melbourne Greeter Service

Explore the city with the Melbourne Greeter Service

Discover what locals love about Melbourne by taking a free walking orientation of the city, conducted by our enthusiastic volunteers.  We’re pleased to announce that the Melbourne Greeter Service has resumed, offering free two to four-hour orientations of the...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!