An independent supermarket which prides itself on sustainability will close for good after declaring itself insolvent.

Hisbe stores in Brighton and Worthing will close for good after telling suppliers that it would be entering voluntary liquidation yesterday.

A public announcement on the news is expected.

In an email sent to suppliers supported by Hisbe, owners Ruth Anslow and Jack Simmonds said: “This week we made the difficult decision to declare Hisbe insolvent and take the company into voluntary liquidation.

“We have done everything in our power to keep this social enterprise going over the last four years – and we were making slow but steady progress trading our way back despite working with sorely depleted resources, a painfully tight cashflow and ever-spiralling costs.

“But when the final tranche of our recovery funding was withdrawn in January it became impossible to begin trading.

The Argus: Amy Anslow, Jack Simmonds and Ruth AnslowAmy Anslow, Jack Simmonds and Ruth Anslow

“Since then we have been exploring all avenues to raise the investment we need to relaunch but Hisbe is carrying too much debt from the last four years for anyone to put new money in to save the business.”

Hisbe’s owners also apologised to suppliers saying that the decision would “create enormous personal and financial stress” on them.

The supermarket’s shops in York Place, Brighton and Portland Road, Worthing unexpectedly closed last month with the company saying they were “pausing trading”.

The company said it was “exploring all options to raise funds to pay our creditors”.

Hisbe first started trading in 2010 when sisters Ruth and Amy Anslow set up the shop.

Hisbe, standing for “How It Should Be”, operated as a social enterprise which looked to source products sustainably and from local providers.

The supermarket prided itself on offering products “thoughtfully sourced from small, local producers and brands that trade responsibly, fairly and sustainably”, according to its website.

In May last year Hisbe launched a crowdfunding campaign saying that they have been in “survival mode” and were also looking to open a store in Lewes this year.

Hisbe were approached for comment.