Here at Lucy & Yak we love independent shops and building communities! For this blog post, hot off the heels of Indie Biz month we've trawled through the abundance of independent shops in the Laines in town to bring you the best.
When I was around 14 years old my best friend got me a book called ''How to change the world for £5''. As I looked through the pages the one absolutely resounding page I will always remember is this;
`By the year 2025, all independent shops will be gone, everyone will shop in supermarkets.’
The question and call to action was this - how do we stop it?
Well, it’s two point. Firstly, we can choose to shop in independent shops that we are blessed with in the UK and particularly here in Brighton and then, secondly, we can wean ourselves off shopping for everything in big supermarkets. But oh my goodness it’s hard and don’t we know it ! The first rule of this article is that we are absolutely not here to judge you, we can’t change the world by pointing the finger out we need to instead point it towards us and ask, what can I do, in order to make the world a more positive place.
Today I am going to take you on a little tour of Brightons’ most amazing independent shops, some of them are new and some of these are institutions that have been going for a very long time and are rich in history - come with me, let’s explore!
To Be Worn Again - Vintage clothes specialists - Brighton North Laine
The two most common questions I get in store are ‘What size am I?’ And ‘Where can I get some cool vintage clothes’ and always, the answer is here. To Be Worn Again has been going in Brighton for years and years and with a constant £5 and £10 rail outside the shops it is always affordable. Store Manager Jane on Sydney Street is an bonafide expert in vintage fashion and will help you find that key piece to fit your authentic 50’s look or help you find a funky 70’s shirt for underneath your dungarees. There are two shops in town but I prefer the size of Sydney Street - It Is an absolute must when you come to visit.
A : 12 Kensington Gardens and 24 Sydney Street
Utility - Independent Housewares - Brighton North Laine
Ok - I have to confess, this is my one of my favourite shops in Brighton and it is an absolutely wonderful place. Brace yourself It sells….housewear. (Once you hit 30 you’ll understand)
When you have a look around, I absolutely assure you you will say ‘My grandad had that!’ at multiple products. We are talking Duralex, Kaymet, Enamel cups and plates and TCP soap. The thing that is so charming and yet essential about this shop is it’s pledge to the stoic products of Great Britain - you simply cannot buy any better and this is so important because the product lasts forever. We need to change our buying habits and buy things that will last us a very long time in order to become more sustainable - this shop sells those products. I highly recommend speaking to Alan or the team also - they know their onions and are always good for a laugh.
A : 28a North Road
HISBE - supermarket rebels - York Place
Self-titled supermarket rebels, HISBE (how it should be) is the anti supermarket of Brighton. Located across from St Peters Church this place is a great option when you need multiple items but don’t have time to go to multiple shops. Cheese, Fruit and Veg, Pulses, Meat and Eggs galore - they have a refill station for most things so it’s very much a bring your own container type of place. My lesson for here is learn to use the refillable levers before you go for it as “someone” may have had to buy £11 worth of chocolate buttons..
Their meat is high welfare, their products are all from independent farms and sources and the coffee at the little cafe is deeeelish. Well worth a visit and bring your own bags.
A : 20-21 York Place
Magazine Brighton - Trafalgar Street
Magazine Brighton is a powerhouse in itself. Selling an absolute plethora of amazing magazines from all over the world if you’re looking for your obscure monthly fill of Tokyo style or Courgette weekly you’ll find it here…ok I made up Courgette weekly but you get the picture. They sell a mega 400 titles including little zines you’ve probably never heard of but fabulous none the same.
Not just a shop but a little community all the same, they run monthly events and exciting opportunities for young writers and budding illustrators - what more could you want?
A: 22 Trafalgar Street
Blackout - North Laine
There’s no name above this shop and probably known to people as ‘that magical little bazaar style colourful shop’ - It’s been around for over 12 years and I am so lucky that our shop is just around the corner. Travelling around the world, the team bring us the most amazing treasures from far and wide. Papier-mâché skeletons called Diego, pom pom headbands from Mexico, Hand made stone necklaces from India and sooooo much more. If you’re anything like me you’ll keep going back to justify further purchases at the drop of a hat. And speaking of hats, they have them too.
A: 53 Kensington Place
Did you enjoy this blog on indie shopping in Brighton? Look out for future write ups about other parts of UK and you can shop our full range here.