The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Hyggelight #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Hyggelight
The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Nightshift Wax Company #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Nightshift Wax Company
The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Itemerie #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Itemerie

9 Sustainable Candles For That Eco Friendly Flicker

*This post contains affilate links


“I’ve got too many candles” – said no one ever. 

We’re not the only ones enjoying our favorite candles. The global candle market industry is valued at around $3.5 billion—and it’s growing. These are stressful times, after all, and what better way to melt away the stress than a candlelit bath (and a glass of wine, of course).

But even candles can have their stressors, namely the unknown crap in most.

So, the hunt for alternative sustainable candles has come about for a few different reasons. Don’t worry, you don’t have to burn to the end of the wick to get there; jump down here and keep reading to learn about how we picked the most eco friendly candle alternatives. 

Fortunately, the demand for organic candles and those made from natural wax is also on the rise.

Nightshift Wax Co. makes organic candles out of soy. WildFern Candles are scented with real herbs and petals infused in the wax and blessed with a beautiful intention and gemstone. Then there’s Itemerie, maker of magical vegan candles.

1. NIGHTSHIFT WAX CO.

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Nightshift Wax Company #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Nightshift Wax Company

*Note: We are confirming policies with this brand.

Nightshift Wax Co.’s Sustainable Candles

Nightshift Wax Co. has us legitimately excited for short winter days because of these scented sustainable candles

Choose between intoxicating all-natural fragrances like Blue Spruce & Cedar, Patchouli & Tobacco, Rose Garden, Coffee & Vanilla, Oakmoss & Amber, Pine & Mistletoe, and Cranberry Marmalade.

All candles burn for 72 to 80 hours and release a different scent profile at the top, middle, and base of the candle.

Made from 100% American grown and organic soy wax, premium-grade organic oils, and organic cotton wicks, these soy sustainable candles would make a perfect cruelty-free gift

You get not only soothing scents with this environmentally friendly candle, but a clean burn with no phthalates, chemicals, mineral oils, paraffin, SLS, toxins, petroleum, fillers, and other synthetic ingredients.

They hand pour all candles into recycled/recyclable glass jars.

About Nightshift Wax Co.

Nightshift Wax Co. founder Samantha started the brand in her Florida home. She was determined to create a product that was natural, beautiful, and pure— and accomplished this through her range of small-batch organic eco friendly candles, sustainable skin care products, and cruelty-free perfumes.

All ingredients are ethically sourced and include some of the best our planet has to offer, “tested on humans – never animals!”

Available: EcoRoots


2. ITEMERIE

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Itemerie #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Itemerie

*Note: We are confirming policies with this brand.

Itemerie’s Sustainable Candles

Hand poured and plant-based—two things you can be certain of with Itemerie’s vegan candle selection. 

Roote is the candle connoisseur for Itemerie. Their candles are made with botanical-based ingredients and are never tested on animals. They use American-grown soy, craft the candles in New York, and use locally sourced materials for the lid and wick. 

The candles come in a few different scents: Southampton, Baltic, Fig Tree, Nag Champa, and Sandalwood.

About Itemerie

Sometimes, finding products that are both quality and ethically-made means sacrificing one for the other—but not with Itemerie. 

They design and sell quality products that last years instead of weeks. Everything is crafted by skilled artisans and each item comes with a Itemerie badge ensuring that what you see is what you get – recycled or compostable materials, vegan products, made in North America, etc. 

Beyond that, 100% of what they sell is ethically-made and non-toxic. They also work with local artisans (to reduce their carbon footprint) and use recycled packaging—down to the recycled/compostable tape!

Itemerie also offers customers the opportunity to offset their shipping emissions through planting a tree. And if your purchase qualifies for free shipping you will automatically have a tree planted.

Available: Itemerie


3. P.F. CANDLE CO.

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by P.F. Candle Co #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by P.F. Candle Co

*Note: We are confirming policies with this brand.

P.F. Candle Co. Sustainable Candles

P.F. Candle Co.’s sustainable homemade candles are formulated with vegan soy wax that is non-toxic, paraben-free, and never tested on animals. Phthalate-free fragrance oils are used along with a cotton core wick. 

A range of scents are available. Choose from Patchouli Sweetgrass, Golden Coast (eucalyptus, sea salt, redwood, palo santo), Sandalwood and Rose, Smoky Cinnamon, Teakwood and Tobacco, Amber and Moss, Sweet Grapefruit, Pinon Soy, and Sunbloom (lily, yarrow, tonka bean). 

The eco friendly soy candles are handmade in California with domestically grown soy and farmed using fair labor standards. Just think of these candles as aroma-fair-apy!

They come in a fully recyclable or reusable brass-lidded amber glass apothecary jar wrapped with a kraft paper label. They’re also shipped sans plastic.

About P.F. Candle Co.

Started by husband and wife team Thomas and Kristen, P.F. Candle Co. was born with a mission to provide high-quality candles at an affordable price.

What started as a small operation based out of a studio apartment has grown to now encompass more than 60 USA based employees. That means their affordable eco friendly candles are socially conscious, too. 

As some of the best sustainable candles around, these candles are designed to last longer than typical candles, which means you need to buy less often.

After the candle burns out, the attractive amber jars are great as a repurposed container for q tips, body scrub, or a homemade diffuser with lava rocks and essential oils.

Available: EarthHero


4. UNITED BY BLUE

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by United by Blue #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by United by Blue

*Note: We are confirming policies with this brand.

United by Blue’s Sustainable Candles

United by Blue has several stunning candle options to meet the needs of any sustainable sniffer. They have their own line (some that even come in a mug) and feature the popular Paddywax brand. 

Let’s start with UBB’s non gmo eco friendly candles. Their out-of-doors range is suitable for indoor use because they’re made with GMO-free soy wax that contains no toxins or pollutants. They’re scented with essential oils, use a cotton wick, and will burn for more than 40 hours

We’d be happy to fill our house with any of these nature-reminiscent scents but we particularly like their Log Cabin (citrus and ginger), Surf (sea salt and ocean air), and Tioga Woods (cedar and sandalwood). 

The candles from Paddywax are inspired by some of America’s National Parks. 

For instance, there’s a white pine and hemlock scented Glacier National Park candle. Yosemite smells like cottonwood and oak and the Great Smoky Mountains smacks of maplewood and moss.

You’ll notice a different scent profile as you make your way from the top of the candle, through the middle, and down to the base. 

The candles come in park themed textured pots, and because they’re all so cute, you’ll be thrilled to find another use for it after your candle has come to an end.

Every Paddywax USA-made candle is made with 100% clean-burning soy wax and a crackling wood wick (for those cozy campfire feels in your living room).

About United by Blue

United by Blue is a Certified B Corp that is doing some serious conservation work.

The sustainable outdoor brand has a range of outdoor adventure gear (like backpacks and apparel), but they also have some sustainable items for the great indoors (like candles).

You may know UBB as the sustainable fashion brand that appears in some of our fashion guides, but they make more than backpacks and fair trade dresses.

UBB is committed to proving there’s an alternative to fast fashion and that companies can be used as a force for good.

Aside from phasing all single-use plastic out of their supply chain, for every purchase, they remove a pound of trash from our oceans. So far, that amounts to more than two million pounds! They have cleanups around the coastal US and anyone is welcome to join

Available: United by Blue


5. WILDFERN CANDLES

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Wildfern Candle Co #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Wildfern Candle Co

*Note: We are confirming policies with this brand.

WildFern Candles’ Sustainable Candles

WildFern candles have a range of signature all-soy candles infused with locally harvested botanicals and carefully picked gemstones.

Take for instance the Abundance and Prosperity candle. It’s infused with lemongrass essential oil and vanilla and orange blossoms and topped with a genuine natural citrine gemstone. 

For something a little different, there’s also a Calming Spell candle that has organic essential oils of lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood and is topped with dried English lavender and chamomile flowers. 

The Anti-Depression candle is another that’s helpful for many, providing much needed zen through lavender scents and the amethyst and quartz stones. 

Because the candles are made with locally-sourced flowers and organic botanicals instead of chemicals, it’s recommended you don’t burn them all the way to the bottom of the tin and leave at least a centimeter of wax before discarding.

All WildFern candles are made of vegan-friendly eco-soy wax with a non-toxic cotton wick. 

They come shipped in a recyclable box with eco-friendly starch packing peanuts and housed in an 8-oz tin or jar that is reusable. 

About WildFern Candles

While UK based founder, Jacqueline, heads-up two very different companies, WildFern Candles and WildFern Jewelry, her commitment to ethical and eco-friendly products remains consistent. 

Everything she works with is handcrafted and produced in small batches. The candles are carefully poured and crafted with love to help us manifest our most meaningful intentions. 

With a cult following and an average 5-star rating, it appears love isn’t only coming from Jacqueline, it’s coming from her happy customers, too.

Available: Etsy


6. BEESOM

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by beEsom #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by beEsom

*Note: We are confirming policies with this brand.

beEsom’s Sustainable Candles

beEsom sells ritual/altar/spell/home decor candles that are made from 100% pure organic beeswax sourced locally in Georgia. While they aren’t vegan, they are unique.

Some of these candles are unscented, but nonetheless carry a warm and sweet honey smell.

The Love Blessing candle is made with beeswax, cinnamon basil leaves, and ground cinnamon. Other Blessing candles include prosperity (chocolate mint leaves), protection (mugwort and cinnamon), and healing (star anise and allspice). 

Natural beeswax candles are also drip-less and produce very little smoke and soot. 

Other (non-blessing) candles are available, too, as are melts, sphere candles, pillar candles, tealights, jar candles, and votives. Her scented candles include flavors like Apple Maple Bourbon, Lemon Eucalyptus, and Ceylon Cinnamon.  

About beEsom

beEsom is owned and operated by Georgia-based Barbara who designs and hand-makes everything. She initially started making candles to give as gifts and as a hobby to explore Wiccan candle magic. 

In case you didn’t know (because we didn’t) a besom is a flight tool used by Wiccans to symbolically clear space and sweep in a new beginning.

Barbara began selling sustainable beeswax candles through her Etsy shop and has now impressed more than 13,000 customers!

Magic aside, the candles sold by this Etsy shop are directly connected to Mother Earth and support a happy environment, healthy bees, and a strong local economy. 

Available: Etsy


7. HYGGELIGHT

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Hyggelight #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Hyggelight
Hyggelight’s Sustainable Candles

Get ready for Hyggelight to illuminate your mind. When you buy one of their eco-friendly soy wax candles, you’re getting a plant too.

That’s why their “growing candles” are the best of the best sustainable candles. 

The beautiful ceramic containers are filled with 100% soy wax and essential oils (no additives, artificial smells, colorants, or phthalates).

Once the lead-free cotton wick is burned to the bottom, you’ll find something special at the bottom: a seed paper label to plant non-GMO wildflowers. 

Naturally, the container can be reused as a plant pot by simply adding soil and the seed paper. Just be sure to recycle the aluminum wick tab.

About Hyggelight

Hyggelight (pronounced Hoo-Ga-Lite) is inspired by the Danish concept Hygge, meaning a feeling of coziness and comfort. Combine that with sustainability and you’ve got Hyggelight.

It all started when Cyndi and Chris, self-proclaimed plant hoarders, decided they wanted to try candle making (and thank goodness they did).

The family-owned company wanted to take one commonly used household item and give it a second life. Their “growing candles” are zero waste and hand-poured in small batches at their studio in Ohio, USA. The ceramic plant pots are handmade, too.

These unique sustainable candles are shipped plastic-free in a compostable cardboard box.

Available: Amazon 


8. CANDLESSENTIALS

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Candlessentials #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Candlessentials
Candlessentials’ Sustainable Candles

Candlessentials create eco friendly candles that also come in plantable packaging.

The candles are housed in a handmade, 100% recycled, and biodegradable box embedded with non-GMO wildflower seeds. 

The hand-poured candles are produced in small batches. Unlike the rest on this list, they are sustainable coconut oil candles and are free of animal by-products. 

The candles come in an array of scents like Bold Awakening (citrus, spicy, earthy), Flora (floral and sweet), and Coco + Nut (earthy and sweet). The coconut wax is combined with high-quality fragrances infused with essential oils. 

They confirmed with us that everything is non-toxic, ethically sourced, and palm oil free. 

About Candlessentials

This LA-based brand has a vision to “ignite moments of reflections in an intentional, loving, and compassionate way each time you light your Candlessentials candle.

Owner Tashah Johnson accomplishes this by filling our spaces with delightful scents and creating candles that can be gifted to spread light to the lives of others. 

All candles are handmade with love, sustainability, and giving back in mind.

10% of annual sales are donated to Her Success Inc., an organization dedicated to supporting women who are typically overlooked. 

Available: Candlessentials


9. SLOW NORTH

The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Slow North #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle
Image by Slow North
Slow North’s Sustainable Candles

Slow North is the equivalent of slow fashion—but for candles. Here’s what they say:

“In a world crowded by artificial ingredients and over-stimulation, your senses and your wellbeing will thank you for choosing Slow North.”

They use eco friendly wax for candles (plant-based soy wax), 100% essential oil fragrances, and cotton wicks primed with vegetable wax. Their vegan candles are free of any palm oil, artificial dyes, and synthetic ingredients. 

The scents are formulated with botanical ingredients and plant essences and include Grapefruit + Spearmint, Eucalyptus + Lavender, Geranium + Rose, Lavender + Cedar, Lemongrass + Tangerine, and several more. 

The candles come in an American-made frosted glass tumbler, which is topped with a sustainably-sourced and fire-branded cork lid. Smaller travel tins are also available. 

About Slow North

Slow North is all about creating intentionally crafted, all-natural botanical products. Their small-batch line of home goods, beauty, wellness, and paper goods are made with transparent ingredients and support a fuller life and healthier home. 

When founders Michelle and Jon Simmons found out they were pregnant, they set out to detox their house of toxic, synthetic chemicals. 

With a deep respect for our planet and all that it provides, Slow North is committed to lightening their impact. They only use recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable packing materials and donate their textile remnants to the local Textile Recycling Center to be transformed into new products. 

Slow North also gives back by donating a portion of sales from certain products to various organizations like Kiva. This non-profit provides micro-loans to budding entrepreneurs from underserved communities.

Available: Slow North


WHY CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE NON-TOXIC CANDLES?

Candles are not the same as sustainable lights (and most other products that enter our homes).

Like perfumes, the source of their aromas can be concealed so as to protect “trade secrets”. If they are shared, they’re normally lumped into the ambiguous category of “fragrance.”

Fragrance (parfum) comes from more than 3,000 different chemicals as per the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Transparency List — each with its own potential to be an irritant that triggers asthma, migraines, allergies, or worse. See here for those with warning labels (including skull symbols!) in different countries. Fragrance is also normally combined with phthalates (an endocrine disruptor) to carry the aroma effectively.  

While generally not added to the candles themselves, hazardous pollutants can be released while the candle is burning—which can have a snowball effect that leads to chemical sensitivity.

Limonene, for example, is used to produce a citrus-y scent. When heated, it can release formaldehyde. Maybe it’s just us, but Summer Lemon Formaldehyde isn’t something we want on our coffee table… 

Then we get to the wax – the foundation of the candle. 

Paraffin wax is the most commonly used candle ingredient. It’s derived from petroleum and has been shown to give off toluene and benzene (known carcinogens) when burned. This can lead to lung, brain, and central nervous system damage, among other health complications. 

There’s even lead in the wick and particulate matter (soot) that may cause lung cancer or lung disease. That’s just a flicker of all the dangerous organic chemicals released while you’re singing “Happy Birthday.”

Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. Thanks to environmentally friendly candle brands like these, we can brighten a room or enjoy a candlelit dinner or bath without a worry. 


HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST SUSTAINABLE CANDLES

What makes a candle smell good to us, but doesn’t make our planet plug her nose?

We put on our conscious consumer caps and apply the same criteria we use for all beauty and personal care products. 

Here’s what we’re looking for when it comes to the most eco friendly candles: 

  • Natural & organic ingredients (read more just below this list for specifics on sustainable candle ingredients)
  • Vegan (or ethically-sourced animal products)
  • Cruelty-free
  • Palm oil free
  • Ethical ingredient sourcing policies
  • Thoughtful packaging (recyclable, at the very least) 
The Most Sustainable Substances For Candles

Beeswax: 

We’re buzzing for beeswax. Why? When responsibly sourced, beeswax is a natural and regenerative ingredient that supports one of our favorite little pollinators and the beekeepers who care for them. 

Do be sure to check that the beeswax is sourced from someone who truly cares—local is better, too. You don’t want a candle that’s been made with beeswax from several different countries all around the globe. 

Also, be(e) careful of tricky marketing with beeswax candles, because they only have to be 51% beeswax to be labeled as a beeswax candle, meaning that you could still be getting petroleum or artificial dyes.

Soy: 

For vegans, soy candles are the solution.

Soy is a renewable resource. That makes it a much better alternative for candles than paraffin wax, which is a petroleum by-product that comes from sludge waste during the crude oil refining process (ew).  

Natural soy doesn’t emit toxic chemicals, which means a clean burn and no petrol carbon soot (AKA no black marks on your walls and ceiling). 

As an added bonus, candles made from soy wax burn much slower than paraffin candles. You get an additional 30 to 50% longer burn time with eco friendly candles made from soy!

Still, the soy wax used in candles is a by-product of the soybean industry, which carries with it some problems like deforestation and heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides. Look for organic, GMO-free, and/or locally-farmed soy. 

Coconut Wax: 

Coconut wax, while not as popular as the other two, has some special benefits. It burns even slower than soy wax and is better at holding scents. And on its own, coconut wax has a lovely scent! 

Full disclaimer: coconut wax is typically blended with other harder waxes—normally vegetable (soy). Look for brands that let you know exactly what they’re using. Even better, look for brands using organic coconut wax or sustainably harvested coconut wax. 

Cotton Wick: 

A lot of the candles on the market today bear wicks with a lead core—which releases lead into the air inside your home

Cotton wicks are far healthier, as are those that are braided and primed in vegetable wax. 

No scent (regardless how intoxicating) is worth the risk of lead poisoning.  

Scents: 

Speaking of scents, avoid those with “fragrance” if you can and only opt for candle brands who assure the quality and non-toxicity of the undisclosed ingredients. But knowing what you’re burning is always better.

Essential oils (ideally cold-pressed, organic ones) are the no-brainers. They’re not only all-natural and smell fantastic, but some of them may have health benefits.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ECO FRIENDLY CANDLES

So, are candles environmentally sustainable?

Generally, no they’re not. And if you’re burning candles on the regular it’s about as healthy as driving your car. 

On the other hand, the advantages of eco friendly candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet.

Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about?

What sort of candles light you up? If there are any sustainable candle brands we didn’t mention, enlighten us! 


The advantages of sustainable candles are many. They’re better for our homes, better for our families, better for our lungs, and better for our planet. Not to mention better for our nerves… and isn’t that what candles are all about? Image by Nightshift Wax Company #sustainablecandles #sustainablejungle

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