For our last and final week of “Putting the Spotlight on Sustainable Irish Brands, we will be showcasing “Hannas Bees”. This amazing sustainable company is run by Hanna who combined her two passions of sewing and beekeeping. She created Hanna’s Bees to offer Irish-made reusable beeswax food wraps at a time when there were no Irish-made wraps available. As the first maker of Irish beeswax wraps and vegan wraps, Hanna supplies a large number of retailers throughout Ireland.
Hanna’s company has expanded to include Irish handmade beeswax candles, honey from her own hives, and other honeybee goods including propolis and pure beeswax. What began as a dream for a viable ecosystem in her backyard has organically developed into an artisan cottage business, producing beautiful, useful, natural, and delicious items for her customers to enjoy, direct from her hives to your home.
Hanna’s company has just been awarded “Guaranteed Irish” which is a massive achievement, this Guaranteed Irish symbol is the national symbol of trust in business in Ireland. This is awarded to businesses based in Ireland that support sustainable jobs, contribute to our local communities, and are committed to Irish provenance. Guaranteed Irish actively encourages consumers to support locally based businesses by looking out for businesses and brands that carry the Guaranteed Irish licensed mark when shopping for everyday goods and services online and in stores. As a direct result of making the choice to shop local, you are supporting local jobs in our communities throughout Ireland, building a sustainable local economy for the future of Ireland.
We had the opportunity to sit down with founder Hanna to find out more about her sustainable business:
Are there any challenges with running a business with sustainable values?
Absolutely! One of the main challenges is finding a balance between profitability and sustainability. Incorporating sustainable practices often requires additional investments in eco-friendly equipment, packaging, or sourcing sustainable locally produced materials. While these choices are essential for the environment and our company’s ethos, they can impact short-term profitability and require careful planning and a lot of research.
Furthermore, raising awareness and educating consumers about the importance of sustainable every-day choices they can make and building demand for eco-conscious products can be challenging. It certainly was during Covid, when we saw a huge upswing in all things disposable and single-use plastics. I’m so relieved that we now see the return of eco-consciousness as well as an increased awareness of the importance of pollinators. Thanks to this, being sustainable is suddenly very sexy!
Where do you see yourself and your company going in the future?
As the founder of Hanna’s Bees, I have a vision for the future of both myself and the company. I see us becoming the leading brand for Irish handcrafted honeybee products, continuing to collaborate with other Irish beekeepers to source the best honey and beeswax available to create our products. I am excited to see us bring our brand to a wider audience and help promote better choices both domestically and by further expanding our reach in the US market. They love our honey and beeswax candles over there!
Education consumers about the importance of bees and sustainability has always been a core component of Hanna’s Bees. We believe that armed with knowledge and a bit of sustainable know-how, we can make far better choices for both ourselves, and the planet. Hence, education will continue to play a key role for us in the future, through social media and our popular blog.
What is the significance of sustainability in your own personal life?
Sustainability is not just a business principle but a personal value that I try to uphold in all aspects of my life. I believe that we all have a responsibility to protect the environment and create a better world for future generations. Sustainability is about making conscious choices regarding resource consumption, waste reduction, and ethical practices that support a healthy planet and community.
For me this is a lot of making small every-day choices such as what to eat, how to dress, what to buy, how to transport myself and my family. I think it is important to add that you don’t have to make the right choice every time, but getting into a habit of making better choices will lead to a lot of positive personal change, not just for the planet. Personally, I strive to live a sustainable lifestyle by reducing my carbon footprint, enjoying and caring for what I have, fostering a love of nature for my son, and of course by carrying on the tradition of beekeeping and protecting the Native Irish Honeybee.
Supporting local sustainable businesses benefits the economy, environment, community, and personal well-being. It promotes economic growth, environmental sustainability, unique products, and ethical practices. By supporting local sustainable businesses like Hanna’s bees, you contribute to a thriving local community. https://hannasbees.ie/