The Boroughs (3057)
In a suburb once brimming with textile businesses, The Boroughs (previously Five Boroughs) is bringing back the art of craft while also giving back to the community. It's owned by Alasdair MacKinnon – the man behind the Melbournalia pop-ups and former creative director of knitwear label Otto and Spike.
For each purchase made in store, The Boroughs donates to a charity of its choosing. Past foundations have included the Asylum Seeker Research Centre, Foundation House in Brunswick and Share Your Hair.
The Boroughs stocks products made by independent artists and designers. Eighty per cent of the products stocked are produced within 10 kilometres of the store, including artists such as Able and Game, Hungry Workshop in Northcote, Yen Yen Lo from Footscray and Paper Sea Quarterly magazine. It does stock some international products, such as Duluth Packs from Minnesota in the US, but these unique products are carefully considered so that they don’t take attention from any local artists.
MacKinnon has also collaborated with neighbouring chocolatiers Monsieur Truffe and independent artists including Emily Green, Sandra Eterovic and Molly Rose Dyson. The artists produce chocolate bars with unique wrappers that are only found at The Boroughs – you won’t find it at Monsieur Truffe.
You’ll also find cycling products for “local blokes” that aren’t found anywhere else in Melbourne. The store is a satisfying reflection of the inner-north creative lifestyle and is a great example of community spirit and giving.
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