When searching for a source of eco-friendly candles free from the environmental impacts of paraffin wax (a toxic byproduct of petroleum bad for both human and planet health), we are presented with a number seemingly 'green' option.

However,, whether the candles are touted as cruelty-free, ethical, sustainable or zero waste, it is likely, when you look at the circular story behind each ingredient from seed-to-wick, most manufactured candles are not as green as they claim to be.

When we think about our lifestyle products, we don't often think about the base ingredients which form it, yet every object we use is made from ingredients derived from the earth. 

Due to this disconnection from the natural world, exploitation of the earth and its beings remains rife. Whether it is farmers in the fields inhaling toxic chemicals and poisoning their own soil, food and water to produce monocropped GMO soybeans for the soy wax candle industry -  or the people in factories working under cruel conditions for wages which don’t come close to covering the base physiological or safety needs. Or us consumers, breathing in toxic-chemicals as we try to hygge our homes.

In truth, if every ingredient is not produced through regenerative agroecology practices, which leave the planet better off for the fact that some form of harvest for consumption has occurred, then people or planet somewhere along the line pay the true cost of its creation. 

Below, I've handpicked a few candles whose ingredients are non-toxic, and GMO-free, whose ingredients are sourced from regenerative farms, rewilding projects and regenerative gardens. Small brands, producing ethically, and with their efforts concentrated on relationships of reciprocity with the living world.  Free of waste, slavery, and pollution, and full of beautiful scents ignited through long non-toxic burns. 
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REGENERATIVE ORGANIC, CLIMATE BENEFICIAL, ZERO WASTE TALLOW CANDLES


For thousands of years, tallow has been used for cooking and as the raw material for creating both candles and soap. Tallow is made from the 'waste' fat of an animal, mirroring indigenous ideologies which have existed since time immortal which show respect for life taken by honouring and utilising every part, nose-to-tail. When tallow is procured as a byproduct of regenerative organic farming, it creates a  'zero-waste' product whose ingredients enhance biodiversity and aid in carbon drawdown during cultivation and is biodegrade at the end of their lifecycle. In fact, they can even be climate beneficial.

credentials | woc-owned, regenerative, upcycled, USA grown ingredients, sustainable, ethical, zero-waste, nontoxic, small-batch, hand-poured in the USA, lead-free biodegradable wick
burn time | 40+ hours
price | from $8.00
Using organic tallow from pasture-raised cows in California, alongside organic calendula, 100% local beeswax, and organic essential oil of cedar,  Summer Solace Tallow creates beautiful candles which burn for 40 plus hours
WHITE OAK PASTURES
credentials | regenerative, upcycled, USA grown ingredients, sustainable, ethical, zero-waste, nontoxic, small-batch, hand-poured in the USA, lead-free biodegradable wick
burn time | 40+ hours
price | $8.00
White Oak Pastures is a zero-waste regenerative agriculture farm based in the United States. Their candles are made from the tallow of holistically mob grazed beef, their own farm's beeswax, and ethical essential oils. The farm wastes nothing of the animals they rear, which sequester more carbon than they emit in their lifecycles due to the holistic planned grazing practised, a principle of indigenous agroecology. 
REGENERATIVE ORGANIC BEESWAX CANDLES
Most regenerative farms and gardens who follow the practice of mob grazing, or who care for diverse annual and perennial plant crops, harvest beeswax and honey as well. Bovine and ruminant holistic grazing, as well as crop diversity, enhances biodiversity, creating a positive environment for bees and strengthening their populations, which in turn encourages more plant life through pollination. Be sure to buy from smallholder farms, as not all bees are kept with the same care. Look for 100% organic beeswax at the very least, as and larger beekeepers often don't produce responsibly.

If you can't find something online local to you, ask around at your local farmer's market following Kiss The Ground's regenerative purchasing guide HERE. Below are a collection of a few small regenerative organic beeswax candle makers I found online.

credentials | regenerative, UK grown ingredients, sustainable, ethical, zero-waste, nontoxic, small-batch, lead-free biodegradable wick, hand-dipped
burn time | 20+ hours
price | £12.00
Handmade and hand-dipped in the UK from sustainably sourced English beeswax from London's rooftops to the moors, the future kept's candle collection is simple, scentful, and sustainable. They also sell eco-friendly beeswax birthday candles.
SHOP THE FUTURE KEPTS BEESWAX CANDLES

credentials | regenerative, Irish grown ingredients, organic, sustainable, ethical, zero-waste, nontoxic, small-batch, lead-free biodegradable wick, hand-dipped
burn time | 40+ hours
price | €12.00
Created on the award-winning Brookfield Farm in Ireland, the hives which produce both honey and wax are harvested from bees who pollinate 3 hectares of wildflower, blackberry, tree blossom and organic clover meadows. Each candle is hand-dipped with wax from their 100% Irish farm hives on the shores of Lough Derg in County Tipperary and they sell hand-dipped dinner or birthday candles, and hand-poured candles in frosted glass.
SHOP BROOKFIELD FARM'S REGENERATIVE ORGANIC BEESWAX CANDLES

PIPERS FARM
credentials | regenerative, UK grown ingredients, organic, sustainable, ethical, zero-waste, nontoxic, small-batch, lead-free biodegradable wick, hand-dipped
burn time | 40+ hours
price | £6.00
Made in Alston in Cumbria, these beautiful candles are crafted by hand using the dripping method of candle making which has been essential for centuries to life in the country. The bees who create the wax are housed on a regenerative farm owned by Ted Thompson,
PIPERS FARM REGENERATIVE ORGANIC BEESWAX CANDLES

UNDER THE SUN HONEY
Pure beeswax harvested from the Allegheny Mountains. Organically produced beeswax candle produced through regenerative agriculture and hand-poured in small batches.
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** PLEASE NOTE: At present, there are no candle producers using rapeseed wax, canola wax, coconut wax, or bayberry wax who can trace their supply ingredients to a regenerative or agroecology farm. If you know if any or are a brand producing with a traceable supply chain rooted in agroecology, please email me hello@hollyrose.eco and I'll add you in.


I HAVE DISCLUDED SOY WAX BECAUSE IT IIS NOT SUSTAINABLE OR ECO-FRIENDLY
There are a number of issues with soy wax candles. First, most soy is grown on an industrial scale has a multitude of negative environmental and socio-economic impacts, including pesticide use, and deforestation. Soy wax requires intensive chemical processing to bring the soybean to oil form. First, it is turned into oil through hydrogenation, then that oil is refined and bleached and chemically distilled with hexane. Once distilled, it is bleached with chlorine, deodorized with boric acid and then hydrogenated again to be turned into wax.

IMAGES: The Future Kept