Handmade Candles And Why We Make Our Own?

Handmade Candles And Why We Make Our Own?

We all love the smell of a nice candle and when we started to sell candles at I Love Zero we went on a journey of discovery.

Everything we sell is Vegan so we knew we wanted to sell candles made from plant based wax so beeswax was out of the question. Beeswax is for the bees not us :o)

Anyway after examining the pros and cons of the differetn type of waxes that make up candles we learned the following...,

There are several types of candle waxes available, each with its own set of characteristics and environmental impacts. Here are some common types gathered together and considered in terms of their ecological sustainability: 

  1. Beeswax: Beeswax is considered by some to be the most eco-friendly option because it's a natural byproduct of honey production. It's renewable, biodegradable, and burns cleanly with little to no soot. However, its production can impact bee populations if not harvested sustainably. However when considering this from an ethical standpoint, and given all our products are vegan, this was not an option.
  2. Soy Wax: Soy wax is made from soybean oil, a renewable resource. It's biodegradable and burns cleanly, with minimal soot. However, soy cultivation can contribute to deforestation and monoculture farming, which may have ecological impacts. 
  3. Rapeseed (Canola) Wax: Rapeseed wax is derived from the oil of the rapeseed plant. It's renewable and biodegradable, making it a relatively eco-friendly option. However, like soy, rapeseed cultivation can lead to deforestation and monoculture farming if not managed sustainably. 
  4. Palm Wax: Palm wax is derived from palm oil, which is controversial due to its association with deforestation, habitat destruction, and displacement of indigenous communities. While some palm wax is produced sustainably, it's essential to look for certifications like RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) to ensure responsible sourcing. 
  5. Paraffin Wax: Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. It's widely used due to its affordability and ease of production, but it's not environmentally friendly. Burning paraffin candles releases greenhouse gases and may contribute to indoor air pollution. It's best to avoid paraffin wax if you're concerned about sustainability. 
  6. Gel Wax: Gel wax is a synthetic blend of mineral oil and polymer resin. It's not biodegradable and may contain petroleum-derived ingredients, making it one of the least eco-friendly options.

So we use a blend of Rapeseed and Coconut Wax:

Coconut wax is considered a relatively eco-friendly option when used in candles. Here are some factors to consider: 

  1. Renewable Resource: Coconut wax is derived from coconut oil, which is extracted from the meat of coconuts. Coconuts are a renewable resource, as coconut trees grow abundantly in tropical regions.
  2. Biodegradability: Coconut wax is biodegradable, meaning it can break down naturally without causing harm to the environment. After use, coconut wax candles can decompose, reducing their environmental impact compared to non-biodegradable alternatives. 
  3. Clean Burning: Coconut wax has a clean-burning profile, producing minimal soot and smoke when compared to some other types of wax, such as paraffin wax. This can contribute to better indoor air quality and reduced pollution. 
  4. Sustainable Production: The sustainability of coconut wax depends on how the coconuts are harvested and processed. Ideally, coconut wax should be sourced from producers who practice sustainable farming methods, such as organic cultivation and fair labor practices.

Other factors we also have to consider are the ingredients of the fragrance oils, the recyclability of the candle containers and even the ink and paper we use to make the labels.

As with all consumer products on the market there are environmental and ecological costs associated with the full supply chain of bringing a candle to market. We try to ensure our candles are are ethical as possible. We cannot say we have found the perfect solution but as we learn, we grow and we hope this article goes towards helping you understand the thoughts that go into our products.