9 Vegan Candles for a Cruelty Free Home
Generally speaking, sustainable candles don’t harm the planet, but we also want to make sure that Pine Forest scent isn’t harming anything ON the planet, either.
Especially since it is possible to light up a space or be transported by scent—and do it all without requiring an animal. So today, we’re talking about vegan candles specifically!
Contrary to popular belief, even non-beeswax candles likely contain stearic acid to harden the wax—which is commonly sourced from animal sources (like sheep and cow fat).
For a vegan candle with ingredients mostly sourced from the USA, Paddywax provides—and in a jar that can become a margarita glass, no less.
Nightshift Wax Co. does cruelty free, vegan candles that are also organic.
PF Candle Co. says “pfft” to animal-derived ingredients and instead uses non-toxic soy.
As the wick burns down on this article, you can read more on all our vegan candle criteria, no animal byproducts aside.
*This post contains affiliate links
Paddywax’s Vegan Scented Candles
Paddywax does vegan candles like no other.
With scents like Heirloom Tomato and La Playa jars that become margarita glasses when the candle is finished, these candles provide much more than good sensory experiences.
All of their glass, tin, and ceramic candle vessels are designed to be repurposed into things like succulent planters, pencil cups, and cereal bowls.
Instead of animal-based ingredients, a US-farmed soy wax blend is used.
The clean-burning blend is then combined with fragrance oils and topped off with a 100% cotton wick.
Aware that scent is strongly linked to memory and emotion, Paddwax wants to bring the power of fragrance into each and every home.
Paddywax sources their ingredients with intentionality before they’re hand-poured by chandlers (candle makers) in their Nashville factory.
2. NIGHTSHIFT WAX CO.
Nightshift Wax Co.’s Vegan Cruelty Free Candles
Nightshift Wax Co. lights up a room with their organic vegan candles made with 100% organic, American-grown, cold-pressed soy wax, premium grade fragrance oils (derived from essential oils), and natural cotton wicks.
You won’t be breathing in synthetic ingredients, animal ingredients, artificial colors/dyes, palm oil, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oils, chemicals, paraffin, or toxins.
This means that the heavenly-scented illumination is safe, clean-burning, and better for the environment.
They’re better for animals, too. The Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty free candles are tested on humans—never animals.
The amber glass containers are designed to be recyclable and reusable. They even provide some tips for repurposing it.
About Nightshift Wax Co.
Nightshift Wax Co. was founded on being a pure, beautiful, and natural brand.
In addition to small-batch soy candles, the Florida-based brand also sells organic skincare products made from ethically sourced ingredients.
All products are shipped plastic-free.
3. P.F. CANDLE CO.
P.F. Candle Co.’s Vegan Non Toxic Candles
Want lavish smells, but without petroleum-based paraffin?
Lucky for you, P.F. Candle Co. uses 100% domestically-sourced soy wax instead. It’s topped off with a clean-burning cotton-core wick and fragrance oils to make scents like Cedar & Sagebrush.
You won’t have to worry about animal-derived ingredients, animal testing, parabens, or phthalates, either.
The amber apothecary jars are designed to be recycled or repurposed and are shipped in recycled packaging.
About P.F. Candle Co.
The husband and wife team behind P.F. Candle Co. was inspired to make high end vegan candles—without the high-end price.
They started out as a small Etsy shop, but have since grown to employ more than 60 employees in their fair labor LA warehouse.
4. SANARI CANDLE
Sanari Candle’s All Natural Vegan Candles
Inner balance, focus, and calm can come in the form of vegan soy candles with essential oils from Sanari Candle.
They source the best all-natural, non-GMO, vegan ingredients and leave out artificial chemicals and carcinogens.
Only natural, whole essential oils are used to create the Sanari scent. USDA-certified organic coconut-soy oils bring forth the fragrances’ true essence—like Fresco (Persian lime, basil, sage) and Aria (tangerine, ylang-ylang, lavender).
As with all the best vegan candles, the wick is made from 100% unbleached cotton.
Recycled and recyclable glass jars and packaging materials are used.
Sanari’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices
The word ‘Sanari’ is a combination of the founders’ children’s names, Ari and Sanam, meaning air and love—because these candles create love in the air we breathe.
The company was started when founder Rebecca was diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to rid her home of all possible toxins.
They’re hand-poured in California, USA and many of the brand’s partner farmers use solar panels, alternative fuels, and less irrigation water.
These space-warming candles get more heart-warming: 5% of every sale is donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
5. UNITED BY BLUE
United by Blue’s Vegan Scented Candles
United by Blue is uniting various makers of vegan friendly candles—some already on this list.
In addition to Paddywax, you’d find Skeem Design’s USA-made candles. They feature a soy/vegetable base scented with essential oils.
The reusable glass container is as minimal as possible, unless you choose one of the candles that comes in a hand-blown glass cloche.
UBB also has their own line of candles, all inspired by the great outdoors (A ‘trip’ to Tioga Woods, anyone?).
They’re made with GMO-free soy wax (free of toxins and pollutants), a cotton wick, and essential oil scents.
The candles are hand-poured in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and come in reusable, recyclable glass vessels.
About United by Blue
As a Certified B Corp, United By Blue is making waves when it comes to protecting our oceans and ridding them of pollution.
They use earth-friendly materials, eco conscious packaging, and remove a pound of trash from the oceans with every purchase.
So far, they’re tipping the scales at more than 3,630,488 pounds of trash.
They also donate to outdoor inclusivity organizations like Black Girls Trekkin, Colour the Trails, and the NAACP; help distribute groceries to those in need, and support their Blue Crew members who join cleanups.
Available: United by Blue
GoodLight’s Vegan Birthday Candles
Vegan birthday candles are hard to find, but GoodLight’s got ‘em!
In fact, they produced the first and only paraffin-free 100% vegan candles for making a birthday wish (colored with non-toxic Bekro dyes).
Other candle options include scented tea lights, scented and unscented votives, apothecary jars, tins, pillars, and vegan taper candles.
All are made with 100% non-GMO palm wax (a derivative of palm oil). While we generally try to avoid palm oil and its many derivatives, their reason for using it is thoughtful.
Palm trees produce up to ten times more oil per acre than other crops that produce oil (soy, coconut, etc.) which is why the demand for it will never go away. They write:
“We believe that boycotting palm isn’t a realistic way to stop the destruction […] If Western consumers don’t help create demand for sustainable palm, then there will be no market for it.”
GoodLight is a member of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil and buys RSPO credits to support the production of certified palm oil.
The fragrances come from pure essential and botanical oils that are extracted from plants by cold pressing, steam, or vacuum distillation.
Since the candles don’t contain paraffin, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, or chemicals, the leftover wax and pure cotton wick can be composted in an industrial composter.
Telluride, CO’s GoodLight provides, dare we say, good light.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, a portion of proceeds support the Orangutan Land Trust and Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects.
Some candles are produced in Malaysia, while others are manufactured in China. Both facilities have been visited by GoodLight and are ISO-certified. Workers are paid living wages and provided with vacation time.
Orders are sent in recycled and recyclable packaging printed with plant-based inks.
7. MOJO CANDLE CO.
Mojo Candle Co.’s Vegan Candles Australia
Candle jars can be repurposed, but here’s a brand that’s repurposing other glass into candle jars!
Mojo Candle Co. is known for cheeky wine bottle containers and sustainably-sourced cork toppers.
Alternatively, they can come in a reusable/refillable ceramic vessel, made by a ceramicist in Melbourne, Australia.
Reclaimed or handmade containers aside, the eco-luxe vegan soy candles are made with 100% natural, non-GMO, and palm-free soy wax. They’re finished with premium-grade fragrance oils and lead-free cotton wicks.
About Mojo Candle Co.
Mojo Candle Co. hand-pours their cruelty-free, vegan candles in small batches in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia.
Founders Monty and Jo (combined to make the name “Mojo”) partner with local restaurants and wineries to collect wine and beer bottles for their candles and diffusers.
They’re actively on a mission to keep precious glass bottles out of landfills and even pay for each bottle.
Available: Flora and Fauna
8. OCTO LONDON
Octo London’s Cruelty Free Candles UK
Octo London candles are 100% handmade, vegan friendly, and made with soy wax, 100% natural essential oils (no artificial fragrance oils), and cotton wicks.
Pure illumination, without synthetic or chemical ingredients.
Capture every mood, place, and memory with fragrances like Italian Garden, Midnight Breeze, and Morning Light.
The candles are 100% natural, vegan, and cruelty free and packaged in a recycled cardboard box.
About Octo London
Octo candles are made in small batches by Leva and François in their South London home.
Just because the business is small doesn’t mean their name is. This Etsy shop has been featured by the likes of Vogue, Vegan Food & Living, and The Financial Times.
9. MY MANTRA AND CO
My Mantra and Co’s Soy Vegan Candles
Doing no harm to animals should be everyone’s mantra. That’s why My Mantra makes one-of-a-kind vegan wood wick candles from 100% pure soy wax.
Intoxicating scents like Confetti Cake and Blueberry Parfait come from high-quality fragrance oils that are free from phthalates and parabens.
They don’t contain additives and are never tested on animals.
If you don’t enjoy the crackling of the sustainably sourced wood wick, lead-free cotton wicks are also available.
The candles are housed in recyclable/reusable tins and jars and are sent in environmentally friendly materials with minimal plastic.
About My Mantra and Co
In addition to vegan candles, this brand also sells soaps, botanical incenses, and gemstone jewelry.
Shop owner and creator Samantha personally handcrafts everything in her small family home in Ontario.
She’s driven by a famous Sanskrit mantra: “Lokah Samastuh Sukhino Bhavantu,” which means, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may the thoughts, words, and actions of your own life contribute in some way to the happiness and freedom of all.”
These vegan candles from Canada are locally made by fairly compensated craftspeople. Canada is also where everything (aside from the wood wicks) is sourced.
A portion of the sales are donated to religious places of all religions, including Catholic and protestant churches, Sikh Gurudwaras, mosques, temples, and more.
WHAT MAKES CANDLES VEGAN?
Like many other products that are making their way into our homes and bodies, many people are wondering: are candles vegan? And the answer is more often than not, no!
So, what is a vegan candle?
It’s simply one made without animals or animal-derived products.
This is important because many candles include either beeswax, stearic acid (an animal-derived fatty acid), or tallow (pure animal fat).
While paraffin wax can also be used, it’s derived from petroleum sludge (the bottom of the barrel, in other words). Imagine a romantic dinner, with petroleum sludge candles at the centerpiece….
There are better options for setting the mood – plant-based oils (soy and coconut) for one. Plus, soy wax (made from soybean oil) burns more evenly and lasts longer, too. 30-50% longer, to be exact.
But wait, there’s more!
Being animal ingredient-free alone isn’t enough. We also need to make sure no animals were harmed via animal testing—yes, companies do test candle ingredients on animals (namely the fragrances).
Oddly enough, being vegan does not automatically mean a brand is cruelty-free, too, so it’s important to look for both verifiers.
HOW WE FOUND THESE VEGAN CANDLE BRANDS
Let’s illuminate our ethical beauty criteria to see what else we considered for this list.
- Non-toxic natural & organic ingredients: Synthetic fragrances are often sourced from petrochemicals, and may include toxic chemicals like phthalates, endocrine disruptors, and benzene derivatives. Pure essential oils are the best choice, but premium fragrances that are free from toxins is a suitable second.
- Palm oil-free (or RSPO-certified at least)
- Ethical ingredient sourcing policies: especially important for soy wax as soy production has been linked to deforestation in the Amazon in particular.
- Thoughtful packaging: Recyclable and reusable packaging is common here. Most candles are zero waste thanks to the many ways we can repurpose the candle jars.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VEGAN CANDLES
Lighting up your bedside table doesn’t have to put the light out for an animal.
With sustainable, renewable plant oils like soy and coconut, there’s no need for animals to achieve a nice ambiance.
Candles can easily be made without animal byproducts, we just need to let candle producers know that that’s what we want.
Help turn this idea of conscious consumerism into a flame by sparking up a conversation with your candle-loving friends. You can even do that by sharing this article with them.