Lets start with the most commonly used and quite frankly dangerous wax and why we will never use it! You’ll find that most of the high street brands will use paraffin wax to make their candles. Paraffin wax is extremely low cost and a by-product of the oil industry. It does hold scent strongly, but I think it’s safe to say it’s an incredibly unsustainable source of wax.
It’s widely known that when paraffin wax is burnt it releases carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene; carcinogens increase your risk of developing cancer.
It may also be interesting to learn that paraffin wax burns faster than natural alternatives too – what does this mean? Well, it means that you end up paying for more candles for the same amount of burn time as a natural source. Many 30cl paraffin wax candles have a burn time of c33hrs – our candles of a similar size have an approximate burn time of 108hrs, no really they do! It’s a no-brainer for us that paraffin is not an option for our brand.
Soy wax. It sounds great right? Soybeans are natural and we use them in foods so not harmful to our bodies. The problem is, they can very much be harmful to the soul. It is completely possible to harvest soybeans in a sustainable way that doesn’t deplete our planet’s other natural resources; unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment. Most soy is still sourced from South America, and comes with a large amount of deforestation, soil erosion, farmer exploitation (The Enemy Of Family Farmers, Huffington Post) and genetic modification (GMO crops, animal food, and Beyond, FDA).
For these reasons, we’ve stayed away from soy wax as we just don’t think it’s worth the costs to the planet – though we hope one day that soybean farming practices will improve. It’s worth bearing in mind also that many soy wax blends which contain at least 51% of soy wax are usually labelled as such, when in fact they could well have 49% paraffin wax!
Palm wax is a potentially sustainable option we never really hear much about. It actually has the promise of having the same scent-holding qualities of paraffin wax but sustainably grown. Unfortunately, even though palm oil itself is a natural source, there is far too much deforestation caused by harvesting palm oil from palm trees, putting undue pressure on eco-systems and struggling nations like Malaysia, Indonesia & Borneo. You can read more about this here on the WWF website: The heart of Borneo under siege, WWF
Of course, beeswax is still an option for candle making. However, as you may be able to imagine, beeswax holds onto its sweet honey scent, which makes it difficult as a base for scented candles and melts.
As sustainable as it is to source wax from beehives, we have decided we wanted to give a better scent throw to our wax products.
Coconut rapeseed wax
What does that leave us with? Rapeseed wax & coconut wax, though we’ve opted for a blend of both. Pure coconut wax comes from harvesting coconut oil. Coconuts are a sustainable, high yield crop. Pure rapeseed wax comes from the mustard and cabbage family, if you can believe it! It’s harvested from farming practices alongside the rest of our food sources.
If you’ve cooked with coconut oil before, you may have noticed that it liquefies on a hot day – not ideal for a candle! Coconut wax is essentially hydrogenated & refined coconut oil, meaning that it has a much higher melting point. Even still, coconut wax in its pure form is very soft, so blending it with rapeseed wax gives it a little more firmness.
Our rapeseed is sourced from Europe, whilst most of the coconut used in our waxes comes from smallholder farmers in the Philippines or Indonesia (approximately one-third of Filipino farmers and their families make their living from coconut production). There is no forest removal in order to plant new coconut trees and all farming contacts are closely monitored in that regard. Our supply chain is pioneering a programme to train farmers on sustainable coconut agricultural practices. We love the benefits of coconut wax being a luxurious but natural ingredient giving a slow-burn (again calling out our long burn times!). And partnering that with the qualities of rapeseed wax which holds and throws scent so well, we feel we have a winning formula for our luxurious, natural candles and wax melts!
We’re so passionate about providing the most sustainable and safest product we can, all the way from packaging to wax sourcing and that is why we’ve opted for RCX wax – rapeseed & coconut wax blended together.