Green candle in frosted glass sits on a table top with a vase of wheat behind it, as a lit match lights the wick

Are candles vegan?

Candles can be a source of relaxation and ambience in any home, but when it comes to choosing vegan options, it's important to be aware of the different types of candle wax.

Are candles vegan?

Soy wax is a popular choice for vegan candles as it is made from soybean oil and is free from animal-derived ingredients. On the other hand, beeswax, which is derived from bees, is not considered vegan. Beeswax candles are not suitable for vegans as they involve the use of animal by-products.

When looking for vegan candles, it's essential to be cautious of non-vegan ingredients such as stearic acid, which can be derived from animal fats. While not all stearic acid is sourced from animals, it's crucial to check the ingredient list for its source.

For those seeking alternative vegan candle options, there are various cruelty-free options available, including non-toxic candles made from coconut wax, vegetable-based waxes, and other plant-based materials. It's essential to carefully read the label or product description to ensure that the candles are truly vegan and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Is soy wax vegan?

Yes, soy wax is indeed vegan. It is derived from the soybean plant, making it a plant-based and cruelty-free alternative to traditional paraffin wax.

Soy wax offers several benefits for candle making. It has a slow and even burning process, which can result in a longer-lasting candle compared to paraffin wax. Additionally, it is biodegradable, meaning it is better for the environment once the candle has been used up. Another advantage is its renewable sourcing, as soybeans can be grown and harvested annually, unlike paraffin, which is derived from petroleum.

However, there are potential disadvantages to using vegan soy wax candles. One drawback is that it may be more expensive than paraffin wax, making soy wax candles pricier for consumers. Soy wax can also be softer and more prone to melting in warmer temperatures.

How do you know if a candle is vegan?

To determine if a candle is vegan, first, check the ingredient list. Look out for any animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, tallow, or stearic acid, as these indicate that the candle is not vegan. If the ingredient list is not clearly labelled, consider contacting the candlemaker for confirmation.

It is important to avoid candle businesses that do not list their ingredients as these may potentially contain animal-derived ingredients. Look for transparent and reputable companies that clearly state their ingredients and vegan status.

Alternatively, consider making homemade candles using vegan-friendly ingredients such as soy wax or coconut wax. This ensures complete control over the ingredients and guarantees a vegan end product. If making candles isn't an option, opt for confirmed vegan and cruelty-free options from trusted brands that explicitly state their vegan status on their packaging or website.

At buff, you can find us on the PETA website database, as all our products - including raw materials from reputable suppliers - are vegan and cruelty-free.

Try our range of vegan soy candles, with eco-friendly wicks and recyclable glass jars.

Non-vegan ingredients to avoid in candles

Here are some non-vegan ingredients to look out for and avoid in candles.

Beeswax

Beeswax is a sustainable and renewable alternative for making candles, offering numerous benefits compared to traditional paraffin wax. When burned, beeswax does not produce soot or release harmful chemicals, making it a healthier and cleaner option for creating a relaxing atmosphere in your home.

To ensure ethical sourcing, some candle makers use beeswax obtained from sustainable beekeeping practices, making it a cruelty-free option. This means that the bees are well-cared for, and the wax is harvested in a way that does not harm the bee colony.

Stearic acid

Stearic acid is commonly used in candle making as a hardening agent to help candles maintain their shape and texture. It is sourced from various natural sources such as animal fats, coconut oil, and palm oil. This can have potential implications for vegans, as stearic acid derived from animal fats is not suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

In paraffin-based candles, stearic acid is often added to increase the hardness of the wax and improve the overall quality of the candle. It also helps the candle to burn longer and more evenly. In premium beeswax candles, stearic acid is sometimes added to help the luxury candle hold its shape in warmer temperatures and to improve the overall burn time.

For vegans, it is important to carefully check the source of stearic acid used in candles to ensure it aligns with their ethical choices. For those seeking vegan options, soy wax or vegetable-based stearic acid can be used as alternatives.

Tallow

Tallow has been used in scented candle making for centuries, with its origins dating back to ancient civilisations such as the Romans and Egyptians. Tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, was a common source of fuel for candles due to its abundance and cost-effectiveness. It was widely used as a primary ingredient in candle making until the 19th century.

The shift away from tallow-based candles began with the discovery and production of paraffin wax, a byproduct of petroleum refining, in the 1850s. The introduction of paraffin wax candles provided a more consistent and odourless alternative to tallow candles, leading to the decline in the popularity of tallow-based candles. Additionally, the animal rights movement and the desire for cleaner-burning and longer-lasting candles further contributed to the decrease in tallow candle production.

Despite the decline in popularity, tallow candles are still produced for niche markets such as historical reenactments, traditional religious ceremonies, and artisanal candle making. Some individuals also prefer tallow candles for their natural and biodegradable properties. In modern times, tallow candles have found a small but dedicated market due to their historical significance and unique benefits.

Non-vegan glue

When looking for non-vegan ingredients commonly found in glue used for candle labels, it's important to be aware of substances like glutin and casein. Glutin, also known as animal glue, is derived from the collagen of animal skin, bones, and connective tissues, making it a non-vegan product. Similarly, casein is a protein found in milk and is commonly used in adhesives, making it non-vegan as well.

When inquiring with a candle business about the glue used for their candle labels, it's essential to ask specifically about the type of glue to ensure it is vegan-friendly. This can be done by specifically mentioning the keywords like glue, non-vegan, candle labels, glutin, and casein. By doing so, you can ensure that the products you are purchasing align with your values and dietary choices.

It's always important to be mindful of the ingredients in the products we use and consume, and by being diligent in our inquiries, we can support businesses that align with our ethical and dietary preferences.

Non-vegan ink

Non-vegan ink commonly used for candle labels may contain ingredients such as glycerin, animal bone char, animal gelatin, and shellac. Glycerin, which is often derived from animal fats, can be used as a binding and stabilizing agent in ink. However, there are vegetable glycerins available. If unsure, speak to the manufacturer or company.

Animal bone char, made from the charred bones of animals, can be used as a pigment in black ink. Animal gelatin, a protein obtained from animal collagen, can be used as a thickening agent in ink. Shellac, a resin secreted by the lac bug, can be used as a protective coating in ink.

To ensure that the ink used for candle labels is vegan-friendly, it is important to check with the candle maker and inquire about the ingredients used in their ink. Many candle makers are conscious of their ingredients and may offer vegan-friendly options for their labels. It is always best to confirm with the manufacturer to ensure that the ink used is free from non-vegan ingredients.

What are the different types of vegan-friendly wax?

Paraffin wax

Paraffin wax is widely used for making candles, but it comes with potential negative health effects and environmental impact. When paraffin wax candles are burnt, they release harmful chemicals such as benzene and toluene, which can lead to respiratory issues and aggravate allergies. Additionally, the production of paraffin wax involves the use of non-renewable fossil fuels, contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, the production of paraffin wax involves the use of chemicals such as bleach and hardeners to achieve the desired texture and appearance of candles. These harsh chemicals can pose health risks to the workers involved in the manufacturing process and can also lead to air and water pollution if not properly managed.

When considering homemade candles, using paraffin wax can expose individuals to these health risks, and purchasing paraffin wax candles from department stores can also be misleading due to the lack of clear labelling. To minimise these negative effects, alternative options such as soy or beeswax candles should be considered. These alternatives are safer for personal health and have a lower environmental impact.

Need to relax? Try our Lavender and Fresh Laundry soy candle.

Coconut wax

Coconut wax is a popular choice for candle-making due to its sustainability and eco-friendly nature. It is a renewable resource and is derived from coconuts, making it a vegan alternative to other waxes. Coconut wax also has excellent fragrance-holding capabilities, allowing for a long-lasting and strong scent throw in candles. Additionally, it has a lower melting point compared to other waxes, which can result in a more even and clean burn.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using coconut wax. It tends to be more expensive than other waxes, which can make it less accessible for some candle makers. Additionally, the availability of coconut wax may be limited in some regions, making it harder to source. Another potential issue with coconut wax is its softness, which can lead to melting problems in hotter temperatures.

Palm wax

Palm wax is a popular choice for candle-making due to its clean-burning properties and ability to hold fragrance well. It is also biodegradable and has a low melting point, making it suitable for creating beautiful and long-lasting candles.

However, the production of palm oil has been believed to be bad, including the wax. It has been associated with significant environmental concerns, including deforestation, habitat destruction, and loss of biodiversity, particularly in regions like Southeast Asia where palm oil plantations are prevalent.

Sustainably sourced palm wax, on the other hand, is harvested in a responsible manner that minimises the impact on the environment and local communities. This includes avoiding deforestation, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring fair labour practices. Choosing sustainably sourced palm wax can therefore mitigate some of the negative environmental impacts associated with standard palm wax production.

What makes soy wax candles the best choice?

Soy wax candles have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous benefits over traditional paraffin wax candles. From their clean and long-lasting burn to their renewable and eco-friendly nature, soy wax candles have established themselves as the best choice for environmentally conscious consumers. It's no wonder why soy wax candles have become the top pick for those seeking a sustainable and high-quality scented candle option.

Sustainable

Our products and packaging are carefully designed to be sustainable and eco-friendly. We use plastic-free materials for our packaging.

Not only do we prioritise sustainable packaging and shipping practices, but we also use soy wax for our candles. Soy wax is a renewable and sustainable alternative to traditional paraffin wax, which is derived from fossil fuels. By using soy wax, we reduce our reliance on animal and fossil-based products, contributing to a cleaner and greener planet.

At the core of our brand is the concept of sustainable living. We believe in the importance of prioritising natural and renewable resources over excess waste and environmental resource depletion. By choosing sustainable products, consumers can actively contribute to a healthier planet for future generations.

By making conscious choices and supporting sustainable practices, we can all make a positive impact on the environment and work towards a more sustainable future.

Eco-friendly

Eco-friendly products are those that are produced using sustainable methods that minimise environmental impact. This includes using renewable energy sources, reducing waste and pollution, and incorporating recyclable or biodegradable materials in their packaging.

One common misconception is that paraffin wax is both vegan-friendly and environmentally friendly. Paraffin wax, often derived from petroleum, is indeed free from animal products, making it vegan-friendly. However, it is not considered environmentally friendly due to its non-renewable source, carbon emissions during production, and its non-biodegradable nature. Paraffin wax can also release harmful chemicals when burned, contributing to indoor air pollution.

The reasons why paraffin candles are not considered environmentally friendly, despite being free from animal products, include its reliance on non-renewable resources, its contribution to air pollution, and its lack of biodegradability. In contrast, environmentally friendly products, such as those made from soy or beeswax, offer renewable and sustainable alternatives to paraffin wax.

Cruelty-Free

When looking for cruelty-free candles, it is important to consider various aspects. Firstly, ensure that the product is not tested on animals, as this contributes to animal suffering and is often unnecessary. Additionally, consider the impact on animal habitats and ecosystems, as the extraction of ingredients can sometimes harm wildlife and disrupt natural habitats. Furthermore, assess the overall environmental impact of the product, such as its carbon footprint, use of sustainable resources, and packaging materials.

It is crucial to research before deciding to ensure that the product is truly cruelty-free. Look for certifications from reputable organisations, read product labels, and check for any animal-derived ingredients. Consider opting for vegan products, as they not only avoid animal testing but also refrain from using any animal-derived ingredients.

At buff. we are opposed to animal testing.

Biodegradable

Using biodegradable materials in candle making is significant for creating a more sustainable lifestyle. Traditional candles often use paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum and non-renewable resources. On the other hand, biodegradable options such as soy wax are made from soybean oil, which is a renewable and biodegradable resource. This means that when these candles are disposed of, they break down naturally without releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. By choosing biodegradable materials, we reduce our impact on the planet and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future.

Our containers, frosted glass, are recyclable and reusable after each use. In terms of all of our products, our vegan soap bars are also cruelty-free. We only use paper packaging, including in shipping, to help you and Mother Earth.

Shop our full range of soy wax candles - vegan and cruelty-free.

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vegan soaps, lip scrubs and candles you'll love

our handmade soap bars are vegan, homemade in the UK and cruelty-free. there's no palm oil, parabens or SLS in our products and they're designed with you and the earth in mind. soaps have added shea butter for nourishment, whereas lip scrubs are infused with vitamin E and sweet almond oil to help nourish the skin. when it comes to our soy wax candles, they're made up of vegetable wax, eco-friendly cotton wicks and recyclable glass jars which can be re-used or re-purposed to prevent waste.

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