(and you should too)

I am Deirdre, the Founder of Rí Na Mara seaweed cosmetics, an Irish-owned family business based in Spiddal, Galway.

Over the course of three years, we traveled across Europe, conducting research and developing our products. We had the pleasure of meeting with talented marine algae experts and professional cosmetic formulators. To our delight, we discovered that the precise species of seaweed we had been researching flourished off the west coast of Ireland.

Rí Na Mara Seaweed Cosmetics harnesses the power of the sea and the natural environment to promote healthy, beautiful skin. Our unique range of beauty products not only utilizes the pure waters of the western Atlantic but is also proudly made in Ireland, using locally sourced ingredients.

Choosing Irish-made products has become a significant focus, and in this article, we would explain why we love everything Irish-made and why you should too.

1. Gaeilge

The Irish language is deeply intertwined with the country’s culture. One aspect we appreciate about Irish-made products is the representation of the Irish language. From brand names to product lines, Irish words are prominent in Irish businesses, adding a distinct tone and aesthetic.

Image of the word Rí

Rí Na Mara, for those who may not know, means ‘King of the Sea.’ It is inspired by the ideal habitat for nutrient-rich seaweed and marine algae. Regardless of whether you speak Irish, you can appreciate the indigenous representation found in your favorite Irish brands. These names, both big and small, have gained popularity and brought Ireland to the world stage.

2. Seeped in Irish culture

It is difficult to find an Irish business that does not have a trace of Irish culture. Whether it’s food or finance, authentic Irish culture permeates everything. That is why we love Irish-made products. These products often reflect and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Ireland. Whether it’s traditional crafts, music, literature, or folklore, Irish-made products contribute to the preservation and promotion of Irish culture. It brings a sense of home in a bottle, a beautifully crafted basket, or an Aran knit sweater. By choosing Irish-made, you get to experience and support the cultural richness.

At Rí Na Mara, we prioritize employing local people. We commissioned Dublin artist Paddy Lennon to paint a Connemara image for our packaging, and we chose a local girl to model for our marketing images. We strive to incorporate the Irish language (cúpla focal) as much as possible in our workplace and social media. Additionally, we make sure to have Irish speakers present at our trade stands to accommodate customers who prefer conducting business in Gaeilge.

3. Inspired by Irish nature

Irish-made products often incorporate distinctive design elements inspired by the natural beauty of Ireland and its cultural heritage. From ocean waters to stunning rivers. From fashion to festivals, Irish-made products and experiences are famously inspired by the gifts of nature. These designs offer a sense of authenticity and individuality that sets them apart from mass-produced items.

Deirdre on a seaweed farm

Off the coast of An Spidéal, Connemara, the Atlantic Ocean is not just breathtakingly beautiful; it also provides the world’s most nourishing natural skincare solutions: Seaweed. Working alongside local harvesters, production experts, and pioneering cosmetic scientists, we at Rí Na Mara utilize world-class production facilities to create unique and accessible luxury products, immersed in the wild beauty of the rugged Connemara landscape and beaches.

4. Sustainability

Origin Green the Bord Bia sustainability program, is the only national-level program in the world that includes farmers, primary producers, processors, and retailers working together to create a better future for all involved.

When you buy Irish-made products, you can have greater confidence in their quality and production methods. Ireland has a reputation for maintaining high standards in areas such as food safety, manufacturing processes, and sustainability. Irish producers are often transparent about their sourcing and production practices, providing consumers with peace of mind.

Seaweed farmers

Seaweed, with its natural bounty, perfectly embodies the Rí Na Mara philosophy of sustainability and organically sourced ingredients. We prioritize sustainable harvesting techniques, which typically involve hand-cutting only the upper section of seaweed species and leaving the lower section intact to regenerate quickly. A variety of carefully selected seaweeds, in pristine condition, undergo minimal extraction processes to ensure the retention of vitamins and proteins. When it comes to Irish-made products.

5. Reduced Carbon Footprint

Speaking of the environment, why shop anywhere else, when you can always turn to your neighbour? at Rí na Mara we take a balanced view of economic, social, and environmental sustainability and carbon emissions are just one part of a life-cycle assessment. So wherever you live in Ireland, reduce or offset (if you’re the wanderlusting type) your carbon footprint by buying Irish.

We know of the country’s leading efforts in the environmental movement. Another reason we love Irish-made is it gives us the opportunity to play our part. Green is the new green.

6. Irish Outdoor Markets & Exhibitions

From the Galway Market to the Liberty Market, and everything all around the Island of Ireland. Since time immemorial, and regardless of the weather, the country has always had an outdoor market culture. 

Galway Market

Like most Irish businesses, Ri na mara began in small markets. Some of the markets we famously attended include Clarinbridge market day, Ballina Salmon Festival, Rose of Tralee, Bellmullet Fair, Ploughing championship, and Ballinasloe Fair. 

We couldn’t talk enough about Irish outdoor markets, from the fun and friendliness, to the fair prices. It’s enough reason to only go after Irish-made. So cut down even more on your carbon footprint and cycle to the nearest market today in support of small businesses.

7. Tied to Irish History & Tradition

Be it art or accessories, some of our favourite Irish-made products and experiences are deeply tied to Irish history, and traditions. From design to the production process. 

Bundle of hay

Seaweed harvesting has a long tradition in Ireland. Dillisk, also known as dulse, a red alga that is eaten on both sides of the north Atlantic, has traditionally been used as both a food and medicine. The health-giving properties of seaweed are legendary, and Carrageen is still used as a traditional home remedy. So whenever we make some dried Irish seaweed into a soup or slip into a bath, we remember fondly the people that came before us and how they paved the way for the things we enjoy today. 

8. Irish Mark of Quality

If there’s anything Irish-made products are known for, it’s their mark of quality. Whether rustic or luxurious, if it’s authentically Irish, it is sure to be made of the good stuff. Many Irish-made products are crafted by skilled artisans who have honed their craft over generations. These products often showcase exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, adding a unique and special touch to each item. From pottery to handwoven throws and shawls, our favourite Irish-made products are favourites because of their mark of quality. It’s who we are, nothing is half-baked! 

Sauna ready Rí Na Mara facial care

As members of the Society for Cosmetic Scientists, we at Rí na Mara source the highest quality of naturally active botanical ingredients in all our products. Since launching our boutique Irish range of Seaweed Skincare in 2004, the company has gained substantial recognition winning a number of prestigious awards. We are also members of the North American Celtic Trade Association, proudly Irish and with the proof to show.

9. Irish Community Support

Buying local supports communities, by providing employment and increasing incomes. Buying Irish-made products directly supports the local economy by creating jobs and sustaining livelihoods within communities. It helps small businesses thrive and contributes to the overall economic growth of the country. By prioritizing local Irish market offerings, you help get our sustainable, culturally driven, quality gifts of Irish beauty to the world.

From its humble beginnings and even on our journey today, the Irish community has been a huge part of our achievements. With inspiration drawn from the Island, we owe the community our gratitude for their support, resulting in our ever-growing success. We are proud to represent Ireland with our natural skincare range on a world stage.

So what are your reasons for loving Irish-made? Did we mention all of them? Are we missing a couple? Whatever they are, spread the word and keep buying Irish, all year long. You can start with our moisturising facial skincare range, formulated with wild organic seaweed & natural botanical extracts, and enjoy the widely recognised benefits of seaweed. And if you’re curious for more, check out the certified organic range of our premium brand Irish Organics.