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Market Special: The Big Vegan Market

What does your market offer?  Our Big Vegan Market offers a very inclusive environment in which everyone and anyone can come along and check out a huge range of food, drinks, craft, fashion, skincare and general lifestyle products. 

Tell us about your market? Our Big Vegan Market was the first vegan market to be held at The Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. In its first year, it attracted approximately 13,500 attendees to check out the amazing and varied products of around 200 stallholders.

How was your market formed? Our Market was formed based on a number of needs. Primarily, we saw a need to give local businesses that were making fantastic, cruelty-free and creative products an arena to showcase them to the public. Additionally, we saw the need to create a really fun market where members of the public that may be unsure or unfamiliar with how to live a more cruelty-free lifestyle can come and explore just how easily it can be done (and how good you can look while doing so).

What thrills you about markets? Sharing enthusiasm with vendors. People creating cruelty-free products are generally a passionate bunch and we love hearing how excited they are about what they have come up with and how their products have been received. We are moving into a time where vegan producers are focusing on amazing style and design. Seeing the how fantastic the markets look is particularly thrilling to us as well.

Sustainability is important particularly in a market space because? Markets can demonstrate how we can live our lives. People come to our markets to check out what food they’d like to eat, clothes they’d like to wear and what skincare and make-up products they may like to put on their body, so why not also demonstrate the conscious use of these resources as well? We like to discuss sustainability with both our vendors; the Royal Exhibition Building and our contractors. This creates economically viable, competitive and smart uses of resources.

How was your market fostered a sense of community? It has been great to see that our market has fostered a sense of community between the vendors; where they check out each other's creations and also share knowledge and details with attendees in such a warm and friendly way. One thing that I really like however, is that no one feels they need to be part of a group or community to come to the market. We are about acceptance of those with a slight interested or intent on checking out every vendor alike.

What do you love about the market culture? The variety and acceptance. We are a vegan market in which our vendors only sell vegan products but anyone can come and check out the huge variety of products without needing to feel any obligation whatsoever.

What is the history behind your market? 2017 was the first Big Vegan Market. We actually had to change venues because we outgrew the first location within a month of advertising for vendors. 2018 will be our second year at The Royal Exhibition Building, and we’re really excited to be at such a beautiful venue once more.

Can you describe the process of opening the market in the morning? Firstly, I wake up extremely early with 1000 things on my mind, get coffee and stay hydrated. Once I’m at the venue, I check in with The Royal Exhibition staff and security to ensure everything is okay. After that, I basically start making sure my vendors are happy and well looked after. I have to be careful not to get stuck talking to them about all the exciting things they have on the day so I can get to everyone. Closer to opening time, I make sure all the bins are out, all the rubbish is away and all those small kind of things ready for doors.

Describe your market in one sentence. The Big Vegan Market is a fun and accessible market that offers a great range of food and products to demonstrate how easy living a cruelty-free lifestyle can really be.

The Big Vegan Market is going down on Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13 2018, from 10am – 6pm. Applications are now open if you’d like to become a vendor.