Irish Organics Skincare
GETTING organic certification is time consuming and expensive, but the founders of soon-to-be-launched new Irish skincare range, Irish Organics, decided it was worth the effort.
Over the past three years Deirdre and Seamas Mac Chathmhaoil have jumped through countless hoops and spent thousands of euro to ensure that both their products and processes are fully audited and meet tough international organic certification standards.
The Mac Chathmhaoils are no strangers to the skincare business. They set up the Spiddal-based Rí Na Mara skincare brand in 2004 to make products based on a blend of Connemara seaweeds. Seaweed is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals and also has healing and soothing properties. However it has to go through a rigorous quality controlled cleansing and chopping process before being ground into a powder and incorporated into cosmetic products. All the seaweed used by the company is sustainably harvested, tested, and traceable. Rí Na Mara has had some success abroad but it is essentially a brand for the domestic market.
By contrast Irish Organics is being aimed at the export market from the get go and the products have already been shown with some success at several major European trade shows.
“We decided to set up Irish Organics because we wanted to develop a 100 per cent fully certified organic range,” says Deirdre Uí Chathmhaoil who worked as a dermatology nurse and studied cosmetic science at De Montfort University in Leicester.
“We are very passionate about natural skincare and although the kind of certification we wanted has been demanding and costly to achieve, it means that the Irish Organics range has been approved by NATRUE (the international natural and organic cosmetics association) and certified by the Organic Trust. This is particularly important in many overseas markets where consumers are very well educated about product provenance. Our range is not tested on animals and is free from all synthetic fragrances, colours, petroleum-based ingredients, silicone oils, parabens and preservatives. These products are truly pure and natural and we feel they have the potential to go global.”
The Mac Chathmhaoil’s business employs four full-time staff and up to 10 people part-time during busy periods. Over €200,000 has been spent on RD and certification for the new range. All the products are made in Connemara.
– OLIVE KEOGH