9 best sustainable candles to shop now, plus how to tell if they're eco-friendly

Top tips for later.

Sustainable candles: a product shot of August&Piers sustainable candles
(Image credit: August&Piers)

Top tips for later.

Here at Marie Claire UK, we've long championed sustainable living. We bought you guides to greenwashing, water usage and fast fashion: covered plastic free lifestyle tips, how to calculate your carbon footprint and even how to have a more sustainable period. Next up? Sustainable candles, which, believe it or not, are harder to pick out than you'd think. And don't worry, we're not saying you have to give up on your luxury candles, as many of them are already ticking lots of the sustainable boxes.

According to co-founder of candle company August & Piers, Piers Campbell, the key things to look for in a sustainable candle are the following:

  • Fully recycled (FSC) packaging
  • Natural fragrance
  • Natural wax (Bee, soy, Rapeseed, coconut, etc)
  • A recyclable or up-cycled candle holder. N.B, here: Campbell says most manufacturers do this by default as naturally most candle holders are made with either glass or ceramic
  • No plastic used in any packaging or e-commerce (including bubble wrap or cellophane).

"Cheap candles use mostly man-made fragrances from chemicals," explains Campbell. "These can be harmful to the environment, animals and people," he goes on.

"Non-sustainable candles also often use paraffin, which is the by-product of petrol and toxic for the environment and to inhale within the home," he continues. 

Last but by no means least, it's worth thinking about the carbon footprint of your candle during the manufacturing process. "Sometimes, it’s actually quite hard to measure," shares Campbell.

Try this: ask yourself simple questions, like are the materials to produce the candles sourced from around the world or are they all produced within the UK? Are they all produced within 50 miles of the factory, or more like 500?

Do read our guide to the best luxury candles, while you're here, and for sustainable candles, keep reading.

9 sustainable candles to *add to basket* 

Ally Head
Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.