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The Future of Retail

The Future of Retail

When Co-Founders and environmental activists, Nikki and Tom opened their first pop-up shop in the quiet main street of Freshwater, NSW Australia in 2018 they had no idea that it would evolve to become a first of its kind. Having both worked in retail and fashion previously they knew the negative impact the industry had on people and planet, and they were determined to change the industry.

BLAEK Store, pronounced ‘Black’ Store is a thoughtful retail space offering only sustainable, ethical, and organic clothing, homewares, and life essentials from mindful designers from around the world. Nikki and Tom’s mission is clear ‘we’re here to shake up the retail industry, we’re in business to build a better future for all lives on planet earth’

For those who haven’t yet experienced BLAEK Store, it’s not your typical retail shop. In fact, BLAEK is the first responsible retailer of its kind in Australia. Yes, they sell clothing, yes, they sell accessories and homewares, and they encourage people to buy new things. So, what makes them different? It comes down to a few key factors 1. People and Planet 2. Circularity 3. Education and 4. Practicability.

People and Planet, the BLAEK Store purpose is to provide people with better solutions. BLAEK helps you reduce your waste with their reusable and refillable everyday products and by choosing clothes and accessories that are ethically made from organic, environmentally friendly, or recycled materials, you’re reducing the amount of microplastics that are entering our waterways. This will attribute to a healthier planet and healthier people. 

What is circularity? For Nikki and Tom circularity is about implementing systems within their business to eliminate waste and to maximise and encourage the reuse of resources. This is the core of BLAEK Store, anything that is purchased from BLAEK can either be reused, refilled, recycled, repaired, or biodegrade back into the earth. This is their first solution, as much as is humanly possible, they don’t want their products to be contributing more waste, so they provide you with the solutions. From refillable deodorant tubes to reusable ear swabs, they have an assortment of products that will get you living waste free and in the long run save you money and time. Additionally, they have a lifetime repair program for all their denim jeans and instore /online recycling programs with both Upparel and Terracycle in Australia, that enables them to recycle textiles, dental hygiene products, shaving products, stationary and empty blister packs. This offering is a significant piece to the BLAEK Store foundation and one that is constantly evolving.

Education is their second solution and a significant part of the BLAEK Store mission. The education piece comes in many forms, whether it’s exclusive screening nights of informative documentaries, DIY store events teaching the community how to mend their clothes or make beeswax wraps or simply the daily chats they have in store with their customers. They use education to inspire their community. ‘we’re here to provide our community with the resources to grow as individuals so that they can make better informed decisions that we hope, inspire them to make better purchasing choices in the future’

Practicability, this is their why. For some, being more responsible and environmentally friendly is about going back to basics, moving to the country, and living off grid, but for the rest of the world it’s about innovation, it’s about moving forward and finding solutions. BLAEK Store is here to show you that there is a practicable way to make a difference and you can do it without skimping on the things you already love about your life.

One of the biggest challenges that Nikki and Tom face is changing the narrative behind ‘slow’ or sustainable fashion. For decades people have been told through marketing and influencers that having the latest in fashion and accessories is the most important thing. Additionally, fast fashion brands gradually moved away from traditional fashion seasons and began producing multiple drops a week to ‘create’ new trends and capitalise on the frenzy of consumers believing they needed more. For fashion brands to keep up with this demand the cost of products and the safety of those who made the clothes significantly dropped. This has created tonnes of waste and impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.

It’s now up to the conscious consumers and businesses, like BLAEK Store to change the way sustainable fashion is viewed. Usually seen as expensive and high maintenance, sustainable fashion pieces should be viewed as investment pieces influencing consumers to slow down and think before they buy. This goes for everyday essentials as well, small changes to reducing our waste and implementing reusable products in our everyday life is a mind shift and one that Nikki and Tom approach through education and marketing.

With business comes its challenges, for Nikki and Tom changing the way people shop and having a positive influence on the world is what motivates them everyday to get up and tackle the climate crisis head on. Without passion it is very hard to keep moving forward when you are a small business.

Nikki believes that ‘with any business you are thinking of starting you need to ask yourself, is this your passion? How dedicated are you to the cause? Because ultimately, you will be living and breathing your passion for it to become a business, so you must love it!’

Tom adds, ‘find yourself the best partner in crime that bring skills to the table that you don’t have, having that sounding board by your side each day helps with the pressure of starting a business and will make the hard days easier’

In 2023 BLAEK Store has some amazing activations in the pipeline which will bring them closer to their goal of providing a completely closed loop offering to both their online and local community.

Visit to learn more about BLAEK Store and sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date with new products and receive $10 off your first purchase.



B L A E K Store | Sydney NSW | Facebook

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.

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