Just an hour from London by train, Brighton offers coastal charm alongside city cool, as zero waste shops and eco salons stand proudly side by side. We find out about the hippest green haunts in the Sussex city.
Nestled on the Sussex coast, Brighton and Hove is a paradise for green travellers. Known for its liberal attitude, cultural output, including Pride and the Brighton Festival and cool openings, the petite city more than packs a punch when it comes to ensuring luxury doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Here we look at the best ethically-sound things to do in the seaside city.
Where to stay in Brighton?
The imposing Grand Hotel on the waterfront holds a Gold status badge in Green Tourism Business Scheme for its commitment to improving environmentally-friendly practices. The Victorian hotel has phased out plastic straws, serve up local food and drink suppliers, including Brighton Gin and offer staff volunteering opportunities at worthwhile projects. The hotel is a big supporter of the city’s bicycle rental scheme and encourages employees and guests to take advantage of Brighton’s dinky size to cycle around rather than drive.
Where to go for coffee in Brighton?
Coffee is a big deal in Brighton and the city boasts a myriad of places to sip an americano while watching the world go by. The fantastically located Bond Street Coffee offers non-dairy milks at no extra charge and the staff are incredibly knowledgeable - and friendly with it - about their ethically sourced beans. Welcoming Brighton-based mini chain Small Batch prides itself on its community work and is similarly keen to share its enthusiasm for responsible coffee sourcing.
Where to eat in Brighton?
Once you’ve taken in the sights of the seafront by bike, you’ll need a nourishing meal. The chic Issac At offers delicious sustainably-farmed and locally sourced food as well as wines from nearby Sussex vineyards.
Elsewhere modern European restaurants Plateau and Mange Tout have a focus on sustainably-produced ingredients, and Lucky Beach on the seafront is also striving to reduce their environmental impact and offers up organic choices where possible.
Where to drink in Brighton?
Brighton is a very social place, with hen and stag dos trickling into the city from early Spring and staying all summer long. People who come down, like to party. But if you fancy a quieter scene, head just off the city’s busy Western Road to Gungo-Ho cocktail bar. There, the remit is all about seasonal British produce, resulting in delicious concoctions like foraged lilac cocktails or homegrown peppermint mixes.
Where to shop for food in Brighton?
Stock up for picnics on the beach by going to Hisbe supermarket. All products are sourced locally or from brands that trade responsibly, fairly and sustainably. You can refill liquid household products in store too. In the nearby covered market, the self-explanatory Zero Waste Shop helps customers cut down on plastic waste by buying household and store cupboard essentials in bulk.
They also stock useful items like biodegradable tape, vegan deodorant and travel bamboo cutlery. Centrally-located Infinity Foods is a workers co-operative and a hub for organic vegan and vegetarian foods, as well as cruelty-free household and beauty products.
Where to shop for goods in Brighton?
Brighton is a treasure trove for vintage fans. Wolf & Gypsy in the North Laine showcase beautiful vintage clothing, alongside new pieces and their new charity T-shirt supporting HeyGirls to ensure no female in the UK goes without menstrual products.
The exquisitely-stocked Hope And Harlequin sources beautiful vintage bridal gowns and one-off occasional wear for special events. Interiors-lovers will love mooching around Era to admire the owners’ carefully-sourced mid-century pieces.
Where to get pampered in Brighton?
Get a blow dry with a difference at Cuttlefish Eco Salon. The hairdressers use cruelty-free haircare ranges to reduce the environmental impact of grooming. Elsewhere Japonica exclusively uses natural and cruelty-free products too, meaning more guilt-free pampering.
Words: Keeley Bolger