I grew up spending my summers on the west coast of Scotland. My days were spent scouring the rugged beaches with my sisters, collecting seaweed and hunting in rock-pools for signs of life. We would throw the seaweed around and 'pop' the little pods but at that point I had no idea how much value this 'weed' could hold in the beauty world.
Fast forward 20 years and a guy called Dom Bridges was spending time on his own rugged coastline at the other end of the country, down in Margate. Dom was not interested in playing around with the seaweed, he was interested in the medicinal qualities it could potentially hold - he began experimenting in his kitchen and soon he found that he was creating products that actually worked. He discovered that seaweed hydrates the skin; its super rich with valuable vitamins, minerals and amino acids, its anti-bacterial, it's all natural and what's more, it's all around us. He set up Haeckels, named after the marine botanist Ernst Haeckel, in 2012 and made it his mission to raise awareness about his natural products that are every bit as effective as chemical-derived alternatives.
As the company has grown they have stayed true to their founding principles - there is a deep respect for the ocean and they intend on helping to preserve it's future. The seaweed is harvested locally and sustainably and they take pride in the conservation of the coastline by organising and taking part in beach cleans and community events.
Community is at the heart of what they do. It is a love of Margate and it's people which inspired Haeckels in 2014 to build the 'Bathing Machine'. Inspired by the saunas of Reykjavik the idea it was to construct a simple, traditional bathing hut containing a sauna, which could be wheeled to the beach for the locals to enjoy a sauna then cool off in the sea! The idea was that this could be repeated on beaches all over the UK. The bathing machine has had many difficulties but it does demonstrate the commitment that this brand shows to the place, to the community. As an architect with a love for the humble shed I just love this one.
I think Haeckels is a company that is truly breaking boundaries in a good way. Beauty is an industry which is undergoing great change and we will do our bit to support this worthy tiny giant from Margate. Innovation is the key to a sustainable future - Haeckels are innovators; they are currently designing products that do not use any water, their products are 100% natural, the incense is naturally scented and they are changing all of their packaging to be 100% biodegradable. This brand is truly worthy of your support.
You can view our Haeckels products here.