What’s Your Story? is a series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Harriet’s Of Hove is a plastic-free pantry based on Blatchington Road in Hove, providing customers with ethical eco-friendly supplies, refills and packaging alternatives. We caught up with Harriet to ask her about the shop and the ideas behind it.
HOW WAS HARRIET’S OF HOVE STARTED?
HoH was started as a form of protest with the way the supermarkets had become. It was following Plastic Free July 2018 and the frustrations of finding shopping plastic free so difficult. So, my partner (Mhiran) and I decided to take on the venture of opening a plastic free shop!
HOW LONG HAS THIS IDEA BEEN WITH YOU?
We properly decided to commit to the venture August 2018 and we opened Harriet’s of Hove in 12 weeks. Previous to Plastic Free July last year, it had never crossed my mind!
HOW HAVE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY REACTED?
The local community have been fantastic. Many people are already committed to doing what they can and other are excited to be starting their refilling journey. The shop really has become a little hub for the community, In which people stop and chat. Put the World to rights, and just enjoy discussing food again.
They is also I diverse amount of environmental discussion and plastics debate in store and that’s exactly what we wanted to create.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO STOCK IN THE SHOP?
A mixture of stocking what we used beforehand. Seeing what is available in bulk and minimal packaging. But also there has been a wonderful amount of local suppliers and independent makers who have approached us to sell their products in store. This has been really exciting for us.
WHAT’S THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING ABOUT WASTE GENERATED BY REGULAR SHOPS/SUPERMARKETS?
That is easy!! The amount that is non-recyclable and completely unnecessary. This waste outlives us on the landfill or ends up in the sea. It has no further purpose and costs local councils money to process it.
WHAT ARE A FEW TIPS FOR AVERAGE PEOPLE TO CUT DOWN ON UNNECESSARY PLASTICS/WASTE?
A little organisation goes a long way! Preparing meals and remembering to take reusables out with you. Also, to start with a bit at a time. Changes don’t happen over night so little but often is a winner.
Oh! And ENJOY IT. Shopping sustainably and consciously bring many benefits and improves the ‘feel good factor’ of how we live and consume.
HOW CAN WE HELP SPREAD THE WORD?
Harriet’s of Hove has a lively Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account. We don’t just use our social media to promote products and the shop, but also to spread awareness and campaign information.
However, ‘word of mouth’ is a great favourite of ours. For those that are interested in plastic free living or lowering, we’re right here for them. Let them know.
I was born in Brighton and have lived in Hove most of my life. I has a special place in my heart. Also (possibly more honestly) going to Brighton to refill was a long trek and now I don’t have to go so far myself!….Hove was missing this facility, so we wanted to provide something really local for Hovians alike.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR HARRIET’S OF HOVE?
Who knows?! It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a year, so perhaps just breathe a little for now. At the pace we are learning and growing, it is very hard to say about future plans. However, we have no current plans to open another store. We want to grow this baby well first.
We will continue to campaign and listen and will provide what we can, with what resources we have available.
If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org