Alternative Ways to Shop


Online Shopping

Online shopping is not a new thing, but there are great online stores popping up constantly that are definitely worth checking out. Online shopping has revolutionised the shopping experience, meaning you can shop from home or the office (not that I am encouraging shopping during work hours!) and even from your mobile. A few of my favourite sites are: – launched earlier this year, Wight is an online fashion boutique that has created a shopping experience for women who make fashion a part of life every day. Selling a carefully selected range of edgy and bold New Zealand and international labels, including Cybele, Maurie and Eve, The Cassette Society and POP! Eyes, this site is a great way to pick up a cool piece that you won’t see on everyone. You can even get a little piece of A-lister Nicole Richie, as the site sells her jewellery line; House of Harlow – not something you see every day on the streets of NZ. Wight also provides a style guide offering advice and the best picks to aid in your shopping experience. – Of course we are all aware that the fabulous Topshop has just opened in Auckland for the first time, but for those of you outside Auckland, or looking to view the full range, the Topshop website really does provide a great online shopping experience. The Topshop site has to be one of the most comprehensive online shopping sites I have ever seen, providing easy to navigate categories with everything from coats and dresses to lingerie and shoes. Plus they have amazing images of every item which you can zoom in on and view from every angle. The site has a size guide and detailed product information for each item, meaning you can really know what you are buying. – this Australian sale site is my favourite place to find an online fashion bargain. hosts exclusive designer 'pop up' sales – a virtual version of a designer warehouse sale with stock at 40%-70% off retail. Sales can be as short as 24 hours, or run for up to a week, and members are notified by email a few days before the sale is due to start. The site also has a Fashion Marketplace, where you can sell or swap your own clothes (and best of all, it’s free!) The site also features a daily ‘celebrity style-watch’ blog, which provides great style inspiration.

vintage-clothingVintage Shopping
Why buy old clothes when you can get new ones? Because you can get some beautiful, unique pieces which you can be assured no other girl will have, making your wardrobe truly individual. While vintage shopping does require some patience, you will be rewarded when you find a fantastic vintage piece of great quality. Like music, they don’t make clothes like they used to! Before the days of mass-production, clothes were often handmade or the work of experienced tailors, meaning they are built to last. K Rd in Auckland has long been the mecca for vintage shopping – stores like Peachy Keen ( and Vixen and Fast & Loose in St Kevin’s Arcade are both a must-do. The Recycle Boutique in Auckland city ( is also fantastic. Victorian Gilt (, specialising in 19th and 20th century antiques and clothing is a place you will find some truly beautiful and authentic pieces.

clothes-swap-partyClothes Swapping
Clothes swapping has become somewhat of a fad as of late, with clothes swapping parties becoming more and more popular. Hosting your own clothes-swapping party is a fun and economical way to get a brand new wardrobe. Invite your girlfriends around, get some nibbles and a few bottles of wine and you will be surprised at what you come away with!

A couple of entrepreneurial kiwis, Victoria Penney and Karin Sjosten have even brought the clothes-swapping craze online, founding The site is the ultimate way of updating your wardrobe with designer brands and quality items without forking out for new clothes. iSwish is a unique take on the clothes swapping (or ‘swishing’) concept with its ‘mirror match’ tool that helps people connect and swap clothes with their body doubles throughout New Zealand. The site is a truly fantastic way not only to cut back on spending and help reduce waste. Joining iSwish is FREE with no listing or end of transaction fees, and using the site is so simple:

1. Sort out your wardrobe identifying items you no longer wear. Then upload these items to the webpage.
2. iSwish members interested in your items can request them. You can accept their offers and receive credits, or opt for direct item swaps.
3. Browse at your leisure and request items you like.
4. Use your items or earned credits to request those items.
5. Enjoy receiving packages in your mail.

The site not only promotes sustainability, but also fashion with a conscience. The iSwish designer donation initiative involves designers donating items to the “iSwish designer room” that then in turn are bought for credits by iSwish members, which are donated directly to Dress For Success, the non-profit organisation providing interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to low income women. So not only do you save money, help our environment, the site provides the opportunity to help fellow women in need – something you won’t get shopping at the local mall.

Article by Natalie Cosgrove

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