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A return to simpler times

Posted by Tracey Woodward on
A return to simpler times

There’s an old Irish saying, “Enough and no waste is as good as a feast”. There are hundreds of Irish sayings about living within your means and not being wasteful. As a nation, the Irish were experts at living frugally.


Before there were high street shops there were a litany of cobblers, blacksmiths, seamstresses and tailors. Of course there were clothes and shoe shops but these were places that were visited when old clothes were beyond repair. Somewhere along the way the drive of consumerism kicked in with the dawn of “must have more” and today we find ourselves trying to curtail our ways and return to simpler times.


Our co-founder John Murray is a pioneer of sustainability, always keeping an eye on the why of products to ensure that everything is purposeful and worthy of people’s time and investment. Coming from a family of six on a small farm in North Cork, John was brought up to appreciate what he had. Receiving hand me downs from older siblings and watching his parents repair what was broken to make it last longer is still, he says one of the best life lessons he received in appreciating investing in things that were made to last.

Modern Botany founders John and Simon foraging for seaweed, joined by Simon's mother.

At the same time across the water in Lincolnshire, Simon’s mother’s motto was also to buy once and buy well, something he carried with him all his life. He is known to be caught with a darning needle to bring new life to some of his most well-worn and loved garments which always last the test of time. Later, his years of expeditions to discover the power of plants from tribes in far off lands meant only packing things that was multitasking and would last the journey.


When John and Simon moved to Ireland in the winter of 2015 they brought with them these experiences and a desire to found a conscious personal care brand that would appeal to both women and men who saw the value in quality natural products. They saw a gap in the market for meaningful, natural, quality personal care products that could be used in a variety of ways by the whole family and would not cost the earth. The basis for the brand would be built on science, nature and an honesty that was missing. They did not want to add to the litany of more products for the sake of it and understood that consumers wanted to be spoken with in an authentic way and Modern Botany was born.


Since then the brand has remained true to its mission of going back to the basics of high quality ingredients expertly formulated and consciously packaged, leaving nothing to waste. This paired with a feeling of luxury and beautiful design means that customers don’t have to trade one for the other.

Modern Botany's Deodorant, travel deodorant and multi-tasking oil.

What you invest in should be functional and this was the inspiration behind Modern Botany Oil which has countless uses for the entire family. From a body oil to a cleanser, bath oil to hair oil, it is the equivalent to both your favourite luxury product and your softest item of clothing all in one. As life is to meant to be well lived, the products you choose should be well used and loved.


While sustainability has become a well-known and used term in the beauty and fashion industry over the past couple of years, it is the mission of Modern Botany to walk the talk and lead the way while doing so. Rather than launching new products every season Dr. Simon works hard behind the scenes to formulate products which will hold meaning and have the ability to make a positive difference to the lives of our customers. 


It’s time to return to the simpler ways of living and buying and to be more mindful of where our products come from. The time for shelves full of product with no real purpose should be a thing of the past, it’s time to return to basics and use the best of what we have to the last. 


We love seeing how our customers use our products and we find ourselves constantly surprised by how our products are applied to great effect, sometimes in ways we had never even thought of! We also love to see our Modern Botany empties being repurposed from miniature vases from our bottles to pen holders from our deodorant tubes. How do you use yours?


Which brings to mind another old Irish saying; The life of an old hat is to cock it. That is, there are always ways to repurpose or use that which is valuable.


We are not re-inventing the wheel – we are returning to simpler times, producing luxurious quality products that are made to last. That’s a real luxury.

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