From Trash to Treasure: 5 Australian Upcycle Retailers You Should Know About

Retailers are continuing to adapt to stay relevant for the rising number of customers seeking sustainable solutions.

Not too long ago we featured Australian retailers who are pioneering in the sustainable and ethical retail space, but this week we thought we would take a closer look at Australian retailers who are operating in the upcycling retail scene.

You may be wondering, what makes upcycling different to recycling? The biggest difference is that upcycling reuses waste without needing to destroy it to create something new. This means that the process is more energy efficient in comparison to recycling where waste products need to be broken down before creating something new. It is for this reason that the industry, and customers, are looking towards upcycling as a worthwhile initiative to support.

Here are 5 Aussie upcycle retailers we think are worth knowing about.


1.  Raw Revivals

Raw Revivals is a furniture retailer based in Melbourne that takes vintage furniture and revives it through new colours, patterns and designs. As a result, they offer one-of-kind pieces spanning from a broad range of design styles. Not only is this a great move for the environment, but also a great option for customers seeking a unique product that hasn’t been mass produced. Customers can also find unique ornaments, vases, photo frames, and many other homewares. A beneficial feature they offer is Customer Furniture Design. Customers can specify the colours, design, stencils, handles and any other specifications they desire. From here, they have the option of supplying their own furniture or the company can source it for them. A great way for customers to be a part of the personalisation process from start to finish.

Raw Revivals Final.jpg

Image source: Pinterest


2. Upcycle Studio

Upcycle Studio opened in May 2013 with an upcycled homewares and gifts collection. Since then, their range has grown significantly to incorporate a range of eco-friendly products. Upcycle Studio makes a point to feature one-of-a-kind products that are made from sustainable materials. They are passionate about minimising single use plastic consumption and supporting Australian handmade products to promote local businesses. Customers can find all things home, fashion, health, beauty and gifting in their store or online, giving customers plenty of options.

Upcycle Studio Final.jpg

Image source: True Local


3. South Hobart Tip Shop

South Hobart Tip Shop is a not-for-profit self-funding worker’s cooperative operated by Resource Work Co-operative. The company is guided by three main objectives: to create employment, to minimise waste, and to promote waste minimisation in the community. They operate a host of landfill reduction services including Tip Shop, onsite workshops and an urban salvage service. The South Hobart Tip Shop is the primary retail outlet for Resource Work Co-operative, and also serves as a base from where they salvage directly from the tip face 3-4 times each day, and sort what is recovered. A great company that encourages customers and tip users to drop off their reusables for a second life rather than becoming landfill.

South Hobart Tip Shop Final.jpg

Image source: Weekend Notes


4. Vintage Violet Upcycling

Vintage Violet Upcycling is a furniture retailer based in South West Sydney, NSW, that specialises in custom pieces. A useful feature that the company offers is painting workshops so that customers can learn how to update their own furniture at home. These workshops can be in a group session or even in the comfort of the customer’s own home. They offer furniture paint, brushes, pieces and waxes to assist customers in bringing their old and forgotten pieces of furniture a new lease of life. All paint used is VOC free, eco certified and uses all-natural pigments. Vintage Violet Upcycling is a great option for customers who want a hands-on upcycling experience.

Vintage Violet Final.jpg

Image source: Vintage Violet Upcycling


5. Retyred

Retyred is a furniture retailer with a twist. All furniture sold is made from old tyres, making their product range incredibly unique and innovative. The company was founded by an Australian-Austrian duo, Monica Corser and Bernie Kudernatsch, who found that upcycled rubber is an excellent robust material for outdoor furniture. Their current product range indoor + outdoor chairs, tables, flower pots and various other storage containers such as trunks and baskets. The entyre range (sorry, we couldn’t resist) is handmade and therefore unique. Retyred aims to inspire people by demonstrating how an unconventionally renewable raw material can be turned into a durable and comfortable product.


Image source: Trend Hunter


Customers want to have more options when it comes to sustainable shopping solutions, and these retailers are giving them just that.  

We can’t wait to see who else contributes to the upcycling retail space, and would love to follow up with an updated list later down the track.

Have any favourites that we didn’t mention? Be sure to comment below!