There’s a common perception that it’s not easy being green. But actually, it can be. And new retail space 12 x 12 is proving it.

Sharing a building with Kinfolk Café and HUB Australia at Donkey Wheel House, the store showcases 12 retailers that produce products in sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly ways.

Then, after 12 weeks, a new round of retailers move in, hence the name.

Designed by Index Architecture, the space is a collaboration between Ethical Property Australia, Donkey Wheel House and Pop Union, which all support businesses that have a positive impact on society rather than just make a profit.

Hugo Lamb from Pop Union says the concept behind the store is to help socially conscious brands expand, grow and collaborate with other like-minded companies while taking the burden out of selling their products.

“There’s lots of interesting stories from the retailers involved and the idea of the store is to help these guys spend less time worrying about making money and more time looking at how they can improve their social impact,” he says.

The store itself is a bright, airy space with wooden boards on the walls, low hanging lights and huge windows. Its first round of retailers includes Ettitude clothing, which uses bamboo in its fabrics; not-for-profit vintage clothing brand Dear Gladys, which helps disadvantaged women get back in the workforce; Planet Luxe and its household cleaning products which are naturally sourced and biodegradable; Who Gives a Crap?, which donates its profits to improve sanitation in developing countries; and Discrepancy-records, which helps disadvantaged people find work in Melbourne.

Rounding out the first set of retailers is pyjama brand One Night Stand, Print on Wood, Words with Heart, Ethos x, Enable’s In The Click, Liminal Apparel and Grow Space. In the future, the 12 retailers will be chosen based on the season, so at any given time there may be all fashion brands, while at another, homewares or stationary will fill the space.

12 x 12 will also launch a website in July showcasing all the brands involved.

12 x 12
Rear of Ground Floor
673 Bourke Street
(03) 9639 0849

Tue to Fri 10am–6pm
Sat to Mon 11am–3pm