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Green Castle Kelp - Cultivating 'The Blue Economy' in Donegal

Green Castle Kelp is a new family-run business that was founded on the contemporary principle of cultivating and producing sustainable goods that are beneficial to their customers, as well as ethically manufactured and kind to the environment.

Co-founding member of Green Castle Kelp, Kevin Mc Laughlin, having been asked how the idea of a seaweed business came about said; “Myself and my cousin (Michael Laurence Mc Cormick) decided to start the Seaweed business after scribbling the idea on the back of a beer mat in Michael’s back yard!”

Discussing their business, Green Castle Kelp, Kevin and Michael talk about the early days growing up in Greencastle, “always playing and messing at the beach, swimming, cliff jumping and in later years surfing.”

It was here in Greencastle that their love of the sea was moulded. After both Kevin and Michael had stints away travelling in their early 20’s, the cousins found themselves coincidently settling back home with their families.

Kevin discussed that the building of their Seaweed farm and onshore drying facility came about “by incorporating our passion for the water and the transferable skills that came from the other industries that we had worked on up until now.”

Co-founder Kevin explaining the offshore farm operation to a visiting delegation from Plymouth County, Massachusetts

There are many great benefits to cultivating your own seaweed rather than gathering it from the shore as Kevin explains the “most obvious benefit was from an ecological point of view.” Gathering seaweed from the seabed only disturbs the shore and the ecosystems that live in the natural seaweed beds. When Green Castle Kelp grow their own seaweed, new ecosystems are created. Kevin also added that seaweed has an extraordinary capability of capturing extra carbon from the atmosphere; “In essence seaweed is the fastest growing plant in the world and in turn it is known as a natural ‘Carbon scrubber’ and is considered to be a major tool that the world can use as a solution to alleviate excess carbon from the atmosphere and help in the fight against Climate Change.”

Not only do Green Castle Kelp grow and harvest their own seaweed, but they have also decided to create their own seaweed-based beauty and health products, popular seaweed foods and snacks. Their website was then launched, with the assistance of Donegal County Council’s Local Enterprise Office, to facilitate online sales of these popular products.

Co-founder Kevin outlined a number of aims or goals the company have in their minds to achieve in the near future. One of these aims are to sustain a business in an environmentally conscious fashion.

Creating jobs is always great for the local area, and this is a goal that could become a reality quite soon based on the current upward trend of Green Castle Kelp.
Kevin described plans for farm extensions on their farm in the Foyle and the potential that may bring to move to a new onshore premises.

He also mentions the possibilities in branching into other industries in the future. Many industries are using seaweed as a raw material for things like fertilisers, animal feed, biofuels, textiles, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and even human consumption. This will without a doubt give Green Castle Kelp even more opportunities to expand and grow as a business.

Green Castle Kelp is certainly more than just a business, it is a step towards sustainable living. With the love of the ocean and the commitment shown by the founders Kevin Mc Laughlin and Michael Laurence Mc Cormick, Green Castle Kelp offers a wide range of outstanding seaweed products that are kind to the planet and beneficial to its customers.

The company understands the importance of preserving our planet for the future generations. Green Castle Kelp is proud to be a part of ‘The Blue Economy,’ which harnesses the potential use of seaweed to combat climate change and promote a sustainable future. Green Castle Kelp is a company making sure Donegal is a part of that conversation and are hoping to help shape that.

You can explore their range of seaweed products and learn more about the company at their website


You can also follow their social media through their Instagram, @greencastlekelp, to connect with individuals who share the passion for sustainability and all things seaweed.

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