Dom Bridges, creator of Haeckels
Dom and Cora at the podcast recording studio
Haeckels' range of natural skincare made in Margate
REV On Air with Dom Bridges of Haeckels
In episode three of our podcast, we chat with Dom Bridges, creator of the Margate based brand Haeckels. We speak to Dom about what brought him to a small seaside town to start a line based mostly on seaweed and what success means in a time of unprecedented environmental issues. If you haven’t had chance to listen yet or simply want to review Dom’s episode, read our key takeaways below.
The creation of Haeckels
Fed up with London and the advertising industry, Bridges knew he needed a restart. After a weekend in Margate, he and his wife bought a house almost immediately. They really fell in love with Margate, as the town had welcomed them with open arms. After he and his wife found out they were expecting a baby, Dom began to think about what he was doing with his life. “Well, what do I do? I’m watching my wife grow a human being!” So, he decided he should do something positive for this town that he was going to raise a family in. Bridges began cleaning up the beaches, picking up trash that either washed up on shore or blew onto the beach from the town. It was through this activity that he noticed the abundance of seaweed and he decided he wanted to turn this excess of seaweed into a product for people to use. Thus Haeckels, the seaweed product line was born.
Why is seaweed so good for our skin?
It’s a lot like Aloe Vera! Seaweed has very similar uses, like for sunburns or cuts. Bridges argues it’s actually even more powerful than aloe. “It was used as compresses during the world wars. It helps skin rebuild itself.” We all emerged from the sea, so it makes sense that it would benefit us! Seaweed is very easy to cultivate and in different places around the world, like Margate, there is an excess of seaweed. Bridges has already been working on a Haeckels product in Japan, where there is excess, but this product would only ship within Japan. “True sustainable production is born out of indigenous ingredients and creating a sustainable economy within that location.” The future of Haeckels is a “global brand that is deeply connected to localism.”
How do we rectify this disconnect with nature?
“Everyone needs more time to be able to connect with nature, we are just so preoccupied with money and manufacturing and speed.” Bridges explains that before we can begin saving a planet, we must first have to spend more time within nature to understand what is happening to it. “You give everyone another day at the weekend,” and that is another day to spend in nature and hopefully reconnect to it.
Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
It is through Dom’s five-year-old daughter that he finds optimism. He recounts when she was three and refused to eat the cheese at nursery because it came in plastic. She was down beach cleaning when she was just three years old. Dom says, “she gets it,” and is already making her own efforts to be more environmentally conscious!