Guest Post by Hermione Berendt, writer for The Revival Collective
Brighton is a widely renowned haven for those who want to live an alternative, conscious lifestyle. With Caroline Lucas ruling over the inhabitants of Brighton and Hove, we live in a bubble full of an incredible range of booming ethical and sustainable businesses. In fact, it’s so easy to make more conscious choices here that there aren’t many legitimate excuses not to. However, for those among us who are still trying to claim otherwise, we have compiled a conscious guide to Brighton to help you on your way to a greener lifestyle.
Alongside the usual supermarket chains, Brighton is dotted with Independent supermarkets such as HiSbe, Infinity foods, and Seed and Sprout. All of these shops offer alternatives in the form of locally or responsibly sourced dairy, bread, dry goods and fresh seasonal produce. Furthermore, for those who are completely against eating animal products, HiSbe and Infinity foods stock a variety of vegan products. Alongside the necessities, they are also great places to go for luxurious treats you can feel good about eating.
If you want affordable fashion with a conscience, Brighton is home to an eclectic mixture of ‘slow-fashion’ stores which offer an alternative to the usual high-street chains. There are Fair Trade clothes such as those stocked by the amazing FAIR shop on Queens Road, a store that offers every Brightonian the chance to switch up their high-street purchases for ones with a conscience instead. For something a little bit different there are also shops that showcase local designers like Flock or Snoopers Attic in the North Laine. Many of these brands have an ethical and sustainable element to their designs.
Fabulous vintage stores from Dirty Harry to Wolf & Gypsy are also sprinkled throughout the city, offering recycled and upcycled gems from the past. The fantastic array of charity shops should also be utilised to the maximum. As a city that praises eccentricity and creativity, there are many well-dressed Brightonians who no longer have a wardrobe bulging with clothes they don’t wear. Look out for numerous clothes swap events as well.
Furthermore, no conscious lifestyle is complete without a pair of ethical and sustainable shoes. The FAIR shop, Vegetarian Shoes, and Mo:vel are the best places to go for alternative footwear to what high street chains have to offer.
Aside from the usual chains such as Lush and Neal’s Yard Remedies, conscious toiletries from cruelty-free to eco-friendly are stocked at Infinity foods, HisBe and the Open Market on London Road. Brighton is also home to many beauty boutiques.
The city is also the birthplace of a few conscious beauty brands. One is Eden, a brand specialising in deliciously scented, organic, vegan perfumes for men and for women. Another is Glow Organic, which offers ethical makeup and beauty products. This brand aims to make their customers stop and think about the origins of the products they are putting on their bodies.
DIY beauty is also encouraged! MADE, a creative hub in the heart of the North Laine area, also offers workshops where you can learn how to make your own natural beauty and toiletry products. This means you know exactly how your toiletries are created and what goes into them.
The Sussex countryside offers a great backdrop to Brighton’s culture of environmental wellness. There are many outdoor activities you can have a go at which have no impact on the environment. You can join running clubs, try outdoor yoga in the summer, walk in the South Downs and along the seafront, or even hire a kayak. There are also many creative classes you can get involved with to help you live a more conscious life, such as learning to sew your own clothing and homewares at Sew Fabulous in the open market.
Brighton is very pedestrian and cyclist friendly. Both visitors and residents can walk around the city very easily, hire their own bikes or can even do a cycling tour of Brighton. Using buses and car shares is really easy here, and there is also environmentally friendly transport to and from Brighton University in the form of the Big Lemon Buses. These buses use fuel sourced locally from waste cooking oil.
Brighton is also home to Little Earthworms Children’s Day Nursery, Britain’s first eco-friendly nursery, whose direct mission is to give your children amazing care whilst also reducing their carbon footprint.
In terms of arts, why not visit the ONCA gallery which sits on St George’s Place? This is a gallery that aims to cultivate environmental and social wellbeing through art and discusses topical issues to do with environmental change. We are also home to Brighton Fashion Week, Europe’s first not for profit sustainable and ethically focused fashion week. Furthermore, for those interested in conscious fashion there are bi-monthly networking events and talks held by Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Brighton.
Eating out and Drinking
Many other places pride themselves on using predominantly sustainably sourced ingredients such as Japanese restaurant Moshimo or recent newcomer to the sustainability game, vegan sushi restaurant Happy Maki. This sushi haven has chosen to combat unsustainable and unethical fishing by eliminating the use of fish altogether.
One restaurant that takes sustainability to the extreme is zero-waste restaurant Silo. They have everything covered, from 100% recycled and eco-friendly furniture and fittings, to eco-friendly plates that they serve delicious sustainably sourced food on.
Furthermore, anyone who visits cannot get over the huge selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and cafes in Brighton. Most of us Brightonians have come to take this for granted and are genuinely shocked at the limited choices when you venture out of the Brighton and Hove haven.
You can even drink consciously here too. Brighton also is home to Brighton Gin, a company that distils 100% organic Gin made with locally sourced ingredients and make a huge effort to be eco-friendly by keeping their carbon footprint down and delivering in Brighton and Hove on their specially adapted gin bike. Pubs such as the Earth and Stars also stock vegan beers.