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.
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*
Try because? This candle is made with vegan soya wax and a plastic free jar that is reusable - win, win. They're also made by hand and named after iconic cities around the world. Our personal favourite? The New York.
The bio describes this candle as 'a trip to the south of France', and with foreign travel still up in the air, we're so in. Scented with provincial lavender and comforting vanilla, this candle is vegan, toxin-free, and made from a soya wax which burns for up to 50 hours. Plus, it's completely plastic free with a reusable glass jar and a wooden top, too.
Made from 100% natural wax - a blend made of soy, rapeseed and beeswax - It is cruelty free, toxin-free and also free from any carcinogen petrochemicals, unlike the paraffin-based waxes we mentioned above. Plus, once again, this candle jar is reusable.
Jungle Culture’s organic coconut shell candles are naturally scented with essential oils and hand crafted into recovered coconut shells. Each long lasting candle is microbead and paraben free, and is 100% natural. Plus, it comes in an organic cotton draw string bag and is shipped in recycled cardboard. Neat.
Everyone loves a bubble candle RN. These ones are created without paraffins and fragrances, and have a sustainable cotton wick, too. They say they produce zero waste during the production process - impressive.
La Jolíe Muse's Citronella candle is hand poured with soya wax. It's both eco-friendly and safe for humans and pets. Plus, fun fact: the citronella means you'll deter pesky flies. It's sold in a reusable ceramic pot, too.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a home without tealights, so why not make sure you shop sustainable when you next buy? These Natural Tealights candles are 100% paraffin-free and made from ethically sourced Swedish NON-GMO and additive free rapeseed oil, soy been and RSPO palm oil.
These essential oil candles are beautiful. Made from natural soy wax, they're eco-friendly and biodegradable, too. What's not to love?
Last but by no means least, let us introduce you to AUGUST&PIERS, one of the chicest sustainable candle brands on the market. If it wasn't on your radar, it should be. Poured into luxury ceramic, it's packaged in recyclable material designed by artist Petra Borner, too.
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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.
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