INSIDE WELLNESS BRAND HAECKLES
Down in sunny Margate, off the coast of England, beauty lab Hæckels has emerged to be one of the most innovative wellness brands right now. Operating out of an old betting shop in the seaside town, the brand has proven itself a frontrunner in future-proofing the worlds of beauty and skincare. Most noticeably through its biocontributing packaging – its products come in boxes come made from mycelium, which on the surface feels like plastic, but decomposes and can be grown. That’s not all, though, with Hæckels’ skincare created using kelp grown in Margate, along with a wealth of natural materials that make up the brand’s repertoire of products.
A decade since the brand’s inception, Hæckels has decided to re-introduce itself on a global stage. “I think if the last couple of years has taught us anything, customers have woken up to accountability in the beauty world,” says Charlie Vickery, Hæckels’ managing director. “It’s not enough anymore to say you’re sustainable; you must prove it.”
Hæckels 2.0 is a “complete reimagining of the brand” built around three key sustainability pillars: creating a viable end-of-life solution for its packaging, reducing the size of its packaging, and focusing on the Hæckels supply chain. “Whilst it represents a new look, every decision made had to have a reason to exist. We’re incredibly happy that this new aesthetic for Hæckels puts design, innovation and sustainability alongside incredible products,” adds Vickery.
Part of the make-over will see Hæckels Skin reposition itself as home compostable via a game-changing material called vivomer: a bio-based polymour that is extracted from cellulose in plant walls. “It’s made of microbes that then digest the material when in the right conditions. They view the material as a food source, so it’s a truly circular event,” says Vickery.
The brand has precision-engineered its packaging to remove any pipettes, pumps and aluminium lids “so every product dispenses the perfect amount of what’s inside. After all, you can’t fix the waste problem without addressing the overconsumption problem,” she adds.
To coincide with the launch, Hæckels introduces both a Prebiotic Cleansing Balm and Eco Marine Cream: the former rich in adaptive prebiotics. Elsewhere, Hæckels Home will now see refillable home products seasonally changed, all designed around hyper-local supply chains. “We explored opening a restaurant at the end of last year, which gave us even more insight into the complexity of our supply chain,” says Vickery. “To really honour supply chains, you must respect their seasonality. Hæckels Home allows us to do that with refillable home goods that switch up every season.”
What positions Hæckels at the forefront of the wellness industry’s revolution is the brand’s sheer intuitiveness: to both push its sustainability credentials and to ensure it crafts products that benefit both its users and the planet.
“We’ve done a lot of things in the past – we represent so much to so many different customers, and I think that’s the magic of what we do,” says Vickery. “There’s always a conversation started, so whilst the focus now is very much on products, there’s always a little story behind each one. We know who we are now, better than ever before. We know who our customers are and invite them into our world.”
Photography by Laura Jane Coulson.