BRIGHTON is renowned for its varied shopping areas, from bustling Churchill Square full of high street names to upmarket East Street with its higher end stores.

But it is also famous for its quirky independent shops in The Lanes and North Laine.

Harvey Sayer, Yasmin Stefanie and Isabelle Guy went out to have a browse round some of the most unusual.

Eden Perfumes

The Argus:

This place promises to give you sweet smelling scents which are cruelty free and vegan.

There are more than 300 different varieties available.

Staff member George Moore said the Brighton-based company continues to be inspired and is forever expanding its range.

The aim is to replicate popular brands and manufacture Eden’s own versions in store, allowing customers to match their favourite perfume or aftershave for a fraction of the cost.

The Argus:

Eden’s perfumes are all natural and free from toxins, which it claims people “generally have better reactions to than the big brands”.

If you are hoping to extend your veganism beyond your food choices, Eden lets you smell great, guilt free.

The brand has stores in Gardner Street in the North Laine Bazaar and in Western Road.

The Spice Shop

The Argus:

Step into this seasoning shop in the North Laine’s Gardner Street and you’re hit with the smell of aromatic spices.

Employee Enezio Alcantara believes they “sell by the smell”.

It originated in London but has now been in Brighton for seven years.

The shop stocks spices, herbs, chillies, tea leaves, and sauces from all around the world, including the Carolina Reaper, which is the Guinness World Record holder for the hottest chilli.

The Argus:

Some of the shop’s best-selling products are its own unique spice blends, created to mimic flavours from different international cuisines such as Caribbean and Asian.

Enezio says some of these recipes are such a secret that even he “doesn’t know what’s in there”.


GUSTAMPS in Prince Albert Street in The Lanes has been selling a huge variety of stamps for both collectors and anyone who needs to send post since 1971.

The Argus:

Its owner, known only as Gus, has been collecting stamps for 60 years.

He stocks everything – historical stamps, those from different countries, those that feature celebrities such as David Bowie or feature popular subjects such as Harry Potter, Disney and Star Wars.

They are all popular with collector customers.

Gus is known for his great customer service and entertains shoppers with his expertise. This has made him one of Brighton’s top rated shops on TripAdvisor and he gets rave reviews daily.

Vegetarian Shoes

The Argus:

The vegan-friendly shoe shop has been a staple in the North Laine since the early 1990s when the owner could not find any vegetarian shoes so decided to make and sell his own.

It has become such a success it now sells online and to wholesalers but the Gardner Street store has remained for more than 25 years, and people travel from far and wide to visit.

The Argus:

The shoes are made from synthetic material but employee Emma Morton said the shop was “looking more at natural materials” such as pineapple leaves and hemp.

She believes the vegan and vegetarian community in the area helps the shop continue to gain new, loyal customers.

Know the Origin

The Argus:

Know The Origin has been successful at its pop-up store in Dukes Lane and is now back in Brighton for a second time.

The brand sells ethical clothes and works with Fairtrade labels.

Run by Charlotte Instone, Know The Origin advocates sustainability within the fashion industry.

She produces items that are “affordable, comfortable and durable”. Charlotte was originally inspired by the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh and she works with women’s groups and producers around India.

She uses carbon neutral fabrics such as bamboo, mushrooms and pineapple.

The latest pop-up has just finished and is set to visit cities such as Manchester but there is no doubt it will be warmly welcomed back into The Lanes in future.


The Argus:

There are many plant shops in Brighton, but few come close the diversity of size and species available at Spiderplant in Gardner Street.

For four years it has stocked some 800 plant variants sourced from specialist growers in the UK and the Netherlands. There is a specific focus on uncommon indoor plants and owner Alice Sharville is interested in “something that isn’t physically pretty but has an unusual shape and form”.

Entering the second and third floor you become immersed in the flora hanging from the ceiling and shooting up from the floor. Between the converging greenery on the walls, you will also find a series of winding murals peering through to complete the Amazonian feeling.


The Argus:

The only thing divided in Resident, in Kensington Gardens, is the floorspace – the record shop is split into two, half selling CDs and the other half vinyl. Resident does not specialise in any particular genres, meaning there is a vibrant blend of music listeners, young and old.

Co-owner Natasha Youngs said the store is “trying to appeal to everyone without feeling exclusive”.

The Argus:

The shop has been in North Laine for 15 years and during that time it has developed a devoted fanbase with some people visiting daily to snap up the latest additions.

Natasha estimates that on a weekly basis, Resident gets in more than 1,000 records and more than 100 new titles are placed on the shelves.