SWOP Clothing Exchange – 112-116 Enmore Rd, Newtown

Newtown’s vintage vibe makes SWOP Clothing Exchange feel right at home


When Bethany Wicks moved to Sydney to open her second vintage fashion and recycled clothing store, she was looking for more than a shopfront. “I founded SWOP Clothing Exchange with my friend Brigid Gordon in the Brisbane suburb of West End,” she said. “The community is a classic mix of old and young, artists and entrepreneurs, and locals and visitors. We fit in so well there that I wanted to find somewhere in Sydney with a similar vibe.”

It didn’t take long for Bethany to discover the creative hub of Newtown. “Our business is created by our customers, because they’re the ones bringing in clothes and dictating what we have in store,” she said. “So it’s fantastic to work in a community where there’s such a variety of people. Some customers bring in clothes they’ve had in storage since the 70s, while others bring in the latest trends. It’s exciting, because you never know who’s going to walk through the door.”

“We’re so close to the CBD that people still have access to the major brands, but we find they really want to shop local and sustainable. They want to support small businesses in the area,” she said. “It’s a really open and accepting place for business owners who are doing something a bit different. And we all tend to know each other, so supporting another business is just like supporting a friend.”

“I live across the road from the store, right in the heart of Newtown,” she said. “My favourite part of living here would have to be the food. I barely eat at home anymore. You can eat food from all over the world within a few blocks, from Egyptian and Italian to Turkish and Thai. There’s such a great community atmosphere in Newtown, I just love it.” 

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