Sustainable shopping has found a new home with Harriet’s of Hove, a plastic-free pantry tackling pollution with low-waste packaging alternatives.
On 28th August, Harriet had a dream about opening an eco-shop on Blatchington Road called Harriet’s of Hove. “I’d done Plastic Free July and got very involved with it, to the point of dreaming about it,” explains a bubbly Harriet, before handing us a delicious sample of homemade vegan brownie. “When I woke up and told Mhiran, my partner, he thought that was actually a great idea and said, ‘let’s do it’. So here we are, three months later – it’s literally a dream come true!”
“My background as a nurse and NHS Ambassador for Sustainability in Healthcare, combined with Mhiran’s business acumen, have led us to this project. It is our first venture together, and also the only completely plastic packaging-free shop in Hove.”
The place is small but well-organised, with a decent range of bulk items such as cereals, nuts, spices, vegetables, bread and cakes, and also olive oil and vinegar refills, which aren’t available in similar Brighton shops such as Hisbe. Harriet’s favourite items are the refillable Chilly’s Bottles, which keep liquids cool for 24 hours. She also raves about the selection of loose teas and the organic toiletries. “I’ve tried every single product and I love them all. It’s a different shopping experience, where you can get what you need without worrying about wasteful packaging.”
And judging by the folk who came to nose around on the opening day, it’s a mission that clearly resonates with the locals. “Since we opened this morning, there’s been a constant stream of people coming in to see the shop and try the products. It’s a very busy first day,” rejoices Harriet. In the future, she also plans to use her shop as a community space with evening classes and workshops, in a bid to create an environmental hub for the neighbourhood.
Harriet’s of Hove is located on 48 Blatchington Road and opens every day except Sundays.
Words and photos by Cess Frangi