Nothing sets the mood like a candle, and no other gifts are as popular as candles either. From romantic dinners to relaxing baths, a candle can change your environment and how you feel about your surroundings at the speed light – no pun intended!
Seeing as candles still make for some of the most gifted items on Christmas, birthdays and other events, understanding just how commercial candles are made and what alternatives are available is a useful step for those new to a vegan lifestyle or a more conscious way of consuming products. It might come as a surprise to some of you, but not all candles found in stores are vegan-friendly (or even eco-friendly).
Keep reading to find out what ingredients you should be looking out for and where to find the best vegan candles to decorate your house with or gift to a vegan loved one!
Ingredients to watch out for
Beeswax is the most common animal ingredient you are likely to find in commercial candles. These candles are usually marketed as higher quality and premium compared to those made from vegetable oils, and they will be usually sold at a higher price point too. So, it’s relatively easy to spot beeswax candles as the ingredient will be clearly advertised as a more environmentally sustainable, as they are virtually soot-free and able to burn for longer.
It goes without saying that beeswax candles are not suitable for vegans who choose to avoid all animal products from both their diet and lifestyle. Beeswax is a hard wax that’s produced by worker honeybees, making up the hard structure of the honeycomb. The comb serves as an incubation structure for the queen’s eggs, as well as a space for food storage and honey storage. Vegans will consider honey and beeswax non vegan-friendly, as honeybees are unavoidably used and kept captive to obtain these substances.
Even though beeswax candles are better for our environment compared to paraffin candles, the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethical choice of not using animals to enjoy sustainable candles (more on that in a minute!)
2. Stearic Acid
The use of beeswax in candles helps shape candles and helps them maintain their structure, so when beeswax is not used, stearic acid will generally cover this role.
Stearic acid can be derived from both plant-based sources and animal fat, but the latter is definitely the cheapest option for mass manufacturers, so it’s not surprising that the majority of candles available on the market will contain animal-derived stearic acid. This common fatty acid can also be found in personal care items like deodorants, soaps, detergents, shampoos, and shaving creams, and as there are no laws mandating producers to include what kind of stearic acid (plant-derived v. animal-based) has gone into the manufacturing of a product, it can be quite hard for vegans to make sure the lovely tealight they’ve just picked up at the store is actually vegan-friendly!
The best course of actions for those wishing to avoid animal products in all their purchases is to shop for candles that are clearly labelled as cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. While this might’ve been a harder task a decade ago, the market is now booming with high-quality, wallet-friendly vegan candles that smell amazing and don’t sacrifice the health of the planet in order to hit the shelves!
Vegan candles 101
So, what are vegan candles made of and are they as good as regular candles?
Vegan candles can be made of all sorts of vegetable oils, but you are more likely to find options made of soy wax or rapeseed wax, both great options for eco-conscious consumers that want to support natural, biodegradable products. Candles made of rapeseed wax are just as good as the highly priced beeswax candles, burning longer and leaving minimal soot compared to paraffin and stearic acid candles, with the only difference being that they don’t hurt and exploit the hardworking honeybee in the process. Note that the paraffin wax you’ll find in most mainstream candles, paired with stearic acid to make it harden as it should, is technically a vegan product. However, as this wax is made from crude oil (petroleum), it goes without saying that paraffin candles are an option you should steer clear of if you are looking for sustainable alternatives that are as kind to the planet as they are to animals!
The best vegan candles for any occasion
Whether you are vegan yourself or just shopping for a vegan loved one, a set of vegan candles is both the perfect gift for environmentally conscious people and the perfect cheeky treat for making your home as cosy as can be!
Keep reading to discover our suggestions for the best vegan candles you can find. All handmade in small batches by independent businesses.
Btrfly Candles offers premium coconut and rapeseed wax vegan candles and wax melts that can complement every home, boosting the eco factor with sustainable hemp wicks designed to burn long and bright over the holidays. Made from sustainably sourced ingredients and always handmade to perfection, Btrfly Candles’ products come in many fragrances that can adapt to any mood, and that’s why they are our number one pick for the ultimate gift!
Natural Chandler Candles
Made from coconut and rapeseed wax, Natural Chandler's candles have that luxury feeling while being a perfect eco-friendly choice. Original shapes and styles combine with more traditional designs to offer not only the best vegan candle but also a decorative item to match any room.
With so many choices now you can find the perfect candle without compromising on your vegan beliefs. Explore our collections to find the best vegan candles and eco-friendly products at Vegana Marketplace!