Whether you're a local, a day-tripper, or even a dirty-weekender, you're likely to have heard about Haeckels. One of Margate's biggest success stories, this wild fragrance and seaweed skincare brand provides an original and unique shopping experience, with carefully crafted products that you'll just need to take home with you.

For a start, the elegant shop is described as a laboratory; there's a distinct sense of experimentation and creativity. Stepping inside, the room is stylish and fresh smelling, but very dark (all part of the ambience, of course). You almost feel like you've stumbled on a secret. There are brown glass bottles displayed on light boxes inside wooden cabinets, collections of delicate plants in conical flasks and mysterious fragrances resting under bell jars, accompanied by beautiful illustrations of the main ingredient in each. 

We associate Haeckels with seaweed, and the slogan for the brand is 'Made of Margate' - as the ingredients for the products are sourced locally. Margate's vast coast makes up 20% of the UK's chalk reefs, which means the area is able to nourish families of seaweed that are not found anywhere else in the world. Haeckels own one of only two licenses to harvest seaweed from the English coast, and it forms the base ingredient for all of their skincare products. The brand has proven popular, and products are now available to buy in Selfridges - appropriate, given how Margate is so 'on trend' right now.

I recently tried two very different products from Haeckels in order to see for myself the ways in which they apply their techniques and ingredients. 

Caffeine Free Seaweed Tea

Margate tea! I was pretty excited to give this a try. Kept in a jar that reminds me of chemistry lessons at school, you can clearly see all of the different ingredients in the silky teabags. Opening the jar is a delight; the tea smells really good. The ingredients are bladderwrack, nettle, fennel, elderflower and lemon balm. When you add hot water, the aroma changes; it's salty and reminds you of the sea. Upon tasting, the flavour is certainly vegetal. For me, it was savoury and something I would drink on its own. Like tea generally, it's comforting, but this one also feels healthy. It's beneficial features include helping to increase metabolic rate, as well as providing nutrients that are good for bone and joint health, digestion and cholesterol.
Buy here.

Seaweed/Carrot Seed Facial Serum

An alternative to cream-based moisturisers, this serum is fast acting in nourishing and toning the skin. The seaweed extract is hydrating and helps in improving complexion and skin quality. It's a lovely product to use; applying the serum with its own pipette, after cleansing. It feels natural, smells fresh and absorbs quickly, without being greasy. The seaweed contains many different vitamins, which help to soften the skin - something I found particularly effective. With 100% natural ingredients, including some that come from the sea, this serum will let you channel your inner Ariel (who is obviously the best Disney girl). A Haeckels top tip is to put the serum in the fridge before use, to make it super refreshing when applied.
Buy here.

'We only test products on ourselves' - another important touch from Haeckels. The two products I tried were very different, however, they had similar scents and both felt as though they would have a strong place within the brand. When I think of Haeckels, I imagine feeling warm and contented on a rainy day. The brand encourages us to love our surroundings and to take care our environment. I always feel incredibly lucky to live by the sea, and being able to bring a part of it into my home is really special. With originality, Haeckels taps into the nostalgia many of us experience with the seaside. Historically, Londoners would escape the city for Margate's healing sea air; a tradition that is being revived, given the town's ongoing regeneration.

By presenting their range of beautiful objects, we are able to embrace nature in a variety of ways. While for me, some items would be out of my every day price range, this is a brand that I would be comfortable and confident in spending money on. Given the unique ideas, care taken, and attention to detail, it feels special to have found a brand retailing in this way.

You can visit Haeckels online here, and at 18 Cliff Terrace, Margate.
Alternatively, pop into Selfridges on Oxford Street or if you're near East London, at
106 Shoreditch High Street.

1 comment :

  1. All of my family love Haeckels products and Doms Range of wonderful things made some unique Christmas gifts onceagain this year.