Opening its doors in December, Smith Street's latest arrival, Spares, did not come fruition without its share of challenges for owner and manager Hugo Hubbard. Like most labours of love, it was the stuff of "a lot of blood, sweat and tears", says Hubbard with a laugh.

Hubbard, who started Spares in the old Parts and Crafts studio in Carlton after working across various aspects of fashion over the past decade, says having a store to call his own was always something on his to-do list. "My aim is to have a space where people can come and hang out and interact on things they are into, whether it be clothing or music or art," he says.

Stocking hard-to-find items, with a focus on independent labels, the store carries collections from heavyweights like New Balance, Rockwell and Odd Future, down to locals For the Homies, Relax Socks and Tail Feather.

Working on the fit-out of the store himself, as well as running charitable clothing label Ed's Threds (all proceeds go towards youth suicide prevention), Hubbard's hard work is all in the hope of not just creating a successful clothing business, but creating a community hub where people can do a lot more than update their wardrobe.

Spares is predominately a menswear shop, but there are more ladies’ items making it onto the shelves with each shipment that arrives. But what's really great about this otherwise humble space is not just what it has managed to do so far, but its plans for the future. "I don't want the space to be just a store," says Hubbard. "We are going to be holding bi-monthly exhibitions of local and international artists in the near future and we're working with a local record store to add a small vinyl selection to the shop."

Further to that, the zine and book collection – curated by Smalltime Books and Motto Melbourne – will help create an incredibly active and communal place to find your next set of threads.

368 Smith Street, Collingwood
(03) 408 277 102

Mon to Sat 10am–6pm
Sun 12–5pm