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From modern brands to hand-made gems from the 1940s, if it’s pre-loved treasures you’re after, we’ve got you covered. Literally. Come on a shop-crawl from Ballina to Brunswick of the best second-hand boutiques.

Thankfully the tide has turned on fast fashion, and we are fortunate to have, spread across the Northern Rivers, a plethora of boutique pre-loved stores to explore. That means, bespoke, quality pieces with a story to tell, and never ending up caught in the same outfit at an event ever again. So grab your reusable bags and join us on a sustainable adventure.

First stop: Ballina’s Bunnyhole Vintage.

“I love the artistic qualities of fashion and design,” says founder Nikki Roberts. “But I am also a huge greenie and I love being able to utilise these amazing resources we already have.”

Bunnyhole started as Treasure Trade on Molesworth Street in Lismore in the former hallway between The Canberra and a nightclub.

Nikki would invite the public to bring in their pre-loved vintage ware and offer either cash or store credit. “It was a real circular wardrobe,” she says.

Multiple floods wiped out her store – and her stock – and Nikki made the decision to re-open and rebrand.

“Every single item has been handpicked by me,” she says. “I aim to have a wide range of clothes for as many sizes as possible, with little snippets from as many eras as I can access, dating from the 1940s.”

From sourcing garments for TV and theatre productions, to acting as a personal shopper to locals, Nikki loves what she does.

“My greatest joy is witnessing that moment when someone puts something on and it feels like it was made just for them and you can tell that they feel fabulous,” Nikki says.

Just up the road is Thread Softly Vintage in Lennox Head. The store is bursting with handpicked vintage and modern pre-loved pieces, and also includes handmade goods for men and women. There are faded Levi’s and as-new Vans as well as sunnies and bags.

From there, head up the hill to Two Roads Vintage in Newrybar. From bohemian 70s skirts to 90s grunge, the collection of predominantly womenswear (with some kids’ clothes) has been lovingly curated by owner Melinda Watson. Aged just 18 she started selling pre-loved clothing at markets, studied fashion and opened Two Roads Vintage first in Lismore six years ago, and now runs it from its Old Pacific Highway home.

In Byron Bay is the new kid on the block, Froth the Label. Opened in 2023, it was a shopping experience as a teenager in Texas that would lead to owner Ashten Massingill opening her own store.

“As a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money,” says Ashten. “I went to Buffalo Exchange – which is an exchange/buy/trade store in the states – and it was the first opportunity I had to buy the brands and the labels that the cool kids were wearing at school.

“I bought a pair of Abercrombie jeans that left me feeling like a million bucks – it changed my life.”

While she’s always been an avid op-shopper (“it’s the thrill of the hunt”) she’s found that the locals have embraced the concept of trading in their own clothes with gusto.

Customers can bring in their pre-loved quality garments (ladieswear only) and accessories and exchange them for cash or store credit to shop for a new piece.

“We all have things in our closet that we’ve worn to an event or we’ve had our moment in them,” Ashten says. “It’s rewarding to get something out of your closet that you don’t wear and replace it with something.”

They aren’t a vintage store – Froth’s niche is daily basics. “The classics that you rely on year after year,” says Ashten. “Hopefully we have something for everyone’s price point, we buy all brands from Zara to Zimmerman and we like timeless pieces. Second hand isn’t second best.”

Don’t leave Byron without ducking into Mr Vintage, filled with goodies in an edgy warehouse space in the industrial estate. From men’s tees to retro bathers and everything in between, this cool store is a treasure hunter’s delight.

After following the Pacific Motorway for a few clicks, turn off onto the Tweed Valley Way and head to the black-and-white cow themed village of Mooball. Here, next door to The Victory, you’ll find SiGi – a shop bursting with carefully selected vintage and pre-loved clothing with a focus on natural fabrics and designer labels.

Vintage mirrors crowd the walls and hanging lanterns create a warm light to check yourself out as you try on your finds.

Finally, head back onto the motorway and take a right into Bruns.

Miss Brown Vintage (also in Byron Bay) has been sourcing hand-picked original vintage pieces – and remodified clothing for a modern touch - for almost 30 years. From nostalgic Disney sweats to vintage denim and a healthy dose of Americana it is the perfect end point to a shopping spree that you can feel good about.


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