we’re (christmas) shopping independent this december and this is where you’ll find us

It was Small Business Saturday a couple of weeks ago (an initiative set up by American Express to encourage consumers to shop small), but why make it just one day? We’d like to encourage everyone, where possible, to step away from the throwaway fashion and mass production that’s so prevalent these days, and buy less, but better from independent shops. We mean, Brighton is bursting with talented designer-makers and who wants to have the same products as everyone and their cousin anyway, right?

We gave you our Sussex-based food and drink gift guide earlier but if you like to soak up the festive atmosphere in person, you’re in luck as the run-up to Christmas in Brighton is always a bit of an indie shopper’s paradise. This week is, again, no exception. So with #supportlocal and #shopindependent in mind, here’s what we’re loving (all events are free unless otherwise stated):

Thursday 13th December
Last week we saw the North Laine late-night Christmas shopping event and this Thursday, it’s Brilliant Brighton’s turn. Many of the affiliated 517 shops and cafes  will keep their doors wide open (well, unlocked, at least) until 8.00pm, as well as offering up a tasty helping of special one-night-only discounts, gifts and fizzy and foodie treats. And with 65% of Brilliant Brighton’s businesses independents, we will definitely be out in support. You’ll have plenty of options, too, with many of the stores along Bond Street, Gardner Street, Kensington Gardens, Market Street and Meeting House Lane (as well as the big names on East Street, North Street and Western Road) all taking part.

But it’s worth heading down even if you don’t feel like parting with your hard-earned cash as there will be choirs carolling their hearts out across the shopping area, from Gardner Street to Western Road. But if festive games are more your thing, head to East Street to try your hand at reindeer hoopla and a Christmassy coconut shy for free. We’ve also heard that Old Saint Nick and his elves will be roaming the streets in search of all our Christmas wish-lists…

Plus, don’t forget the ongoing city LEGO Trail. Brilliant Brighton and LEGO lovers Brighton Bricks have hidden 29 mini-figures in store windows across the city. You’ve got until 16th December to spot them all and be in with a chance of winning a prize (LEGO and cash!) You can find more details on how to enter here).


Fridays to Sundays until 23rd December
We mentioned Winter Ladyland (Junction Studio, Upstairs at 1 Sydney Street, 11.00am – 5.00pm) in our weekend guide and we’d still recommend you get yourselves down there to snap up some truly beautiful items before they all go, not least the adorable anthropomorphised ceramic vases from Atelier Stella. Ask for a ‘wish list’ when you get there and add some of your favourite products to it. You can then give the heads up to your nearest and dearest, letting them know that if they want to gift your something they know you’ll love, the Winter Ladyland team have your wish list on file to help!