Looking to create a cosy yet sustainable glow? Try our guide to the best eco-friendly and cruelty-free soy candles in 2023.
The thing I love buying most isn’t ethical shoes. It isn’t houseplants. Nope. It’s candles. On a dark night, there’s nothing better than closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting some soy or beeswax candles to create a lovely relaxing atmosphere. Especially after a hectic day at work. Or if I’ve spent the day with my young kids, and I’ve finally got them into bed.
What’s Wrong With Standard Candles?
Standard candles I don’t love so much. Standard candles are made from paraffin wax. This is a fossil fuel-based petroleum by-product that is made when crude oil is refined into petrol.
As well as being made from non-renewable fossil fuels, burning these kinds of candles can affect your indoor air quality when you burn them. And that’s before we’ve even covered the artificial fragrances contained in candles, which can hide a cocktail of particularly undesirable chemicals.
Soy candles, on the other hand, are made from soy wax. This is a renewable vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. This means they are petroleum-free, which benefits the environment.
Isn’t Soy Bad For the Environment?
Soy does have a bad reputation because it is linked to deforestation of the Amazonian rainforest. However, it’s important to remember that soy is the primary source of protein for most animal feed, and it is the demand for meat that has seen the demand for soy rocket.
Approximately 75% of all soy grown is used for animal feed, so it really isn’t the soy candle industry that is driving this deforestation. Burn your soy candles without remorse.
If you want to avoid any Amazonian-sourced soy, then many candle makers do source their wax from EU-based sources. European soy is grown in Italy, France, Romania, and Croatia, so more locally sourced soy is available.
Seven of the Best Sustainable Soy Candles
I’ve tried a lot of candles in my time. Here are seven of the best soy candles in case you’re in the market for some candles. Or maybe you’re like me and candles are your fail-safe thing to buy for people who are really hard to buy for!
Use the quick links below to jump to information about each brand, or keep scrolling for the full post:
Old Man & Magpie
Old Man and Magpie – available via Etsy – make sustainable soy candles in Manchester.
Made using only 100% pure and natural soy wax, alongside phthalate-free essential and fragrance oils, and using cotton wicks, these candles come in beautiful apothecary style and recyclable amber glass jars.
Price: from £15
Paddywax soy candles, available online from John Lewis, are one of my long-standing favourites.
Although I do have to say that Paddywax candles are a little more strongly scented than other scented soy candles I have tried.
I find that a good thing when you are trying to scent a larger area, such as a living room. However, they may be a bit overpowering in a small bathroom, for example. Save your Paddywax candle for fragrance purposes, rather than mood lighting when you’re in the bath!
What I love most about Paddywax is that the candles come in a wide variety of stylish holders that you can reuse once the candles are done.
I have had a few of the recycled bottle and apothecary jar candles in the past, and have saved the empty jars for candle making. I also have a wooden octagon candle pot that has now been reused as a plant pot. Meanwhile, the ceramic candle, pictured above, could easily be reused as a vase.
Price: from £15
Vegan Bunny’s eco-friendly soy candles – available online at Etsy – tick a lot of sustainability boxes.
As a starter, all Vegan Bunny candles are handmade in Britain from 100% natural and sustainably sourced ingredients. Each candle is also plastic-free, and vegan and cruelty-free too.
As well as the impressive sustainability credentials, Vegan Bunny’s candles smell good too. They’re blended with essential oils – so are strong but not overpowering, like synthetic scented candles.
From cosy autumnal scents, such as Chai Latte or Pumpkin Pie, to fresh floral and herbal scents, such as Lemongrass & Basil or Rose & Geranium, there’s a scent for every mood you want to create.
Price: from £20
Looking for a cosy sustainable glow this autumn? All of YR Studio’s soy candles – available online at Etsy – are hand-poured in Somerset, using only vegan ingredients that are not tested on animals.
Coupled with eco-friendly packaging, including home compostable and water-dissolvable packing peanuts made of corn starch, YR Studio candles are a sturdy sustainable swap for standard petroleum-based candles.
YR Studios has one main goal – to make you feel all snuggly and cosy. As such, it specialises in Autumn scents. ‘Pumpkin Spice”, “Sweater Weather” and “Hello Autumn” are just some of its best-selling candles.
Price: from £9.99
P.F. Candle Co.
I’m a fan of P.F. Candle Co.’s stylish ethical soy candles – available online in the UK at Naturisimo.
This LA-based home fragrance company believes that fragrance is an extension of your home design. As such, P.F. Candle Co. create stylish, minimal products that smell as good as they look.
Sustainability is also important. All of its candles are made using 100% US-grown soy wax while all of its formulations are vegan, cruelty-free and phthalate-free.
I would say that P.F. Candle Co. candles are pretty strong smelling, so they are best suited if you want to scent a room, rather than wanting to create an ambience through candlelight.
Price: from £24.99
Get 15% off your first order when you sign up for the Naturisimo mailing list.
Valentte London makes beautiful-smelling soy candles and other home fragrance products that are a joy to burn.
Its entire home fragrance range – including its range of complementing reed diffusers – is based on a range of carefully selected aromatherapy oils that are blended to deliver different therapeutic qualities to help your health and well-being. From mood-boosting White Neroli & Lemon to uplifting Lemongrass & Rosemary, there’s something for every mood.
All of Valentte London’s candles are made in small batches to ensure quality and freshness, Valentte London also uses pure plant-based ingredients and aromatherapy oils to ensure its products make your home smell amazing for longer.
What’s more, all of its candles are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and made in Cheshire. The candle jars are also made from recyclable glass and come packaged in cardboard – no sneaky plastic here!
Price: £18, plus there’s currently a buy one, get one free offer in September 2023.
Sign up for the Valentte newsletter and get a free reed diffuser the next time you shop with Valentte.
Once you’ve finished burning your candle, here’s how to remove candle wax from your jar so that you can reuse the jar again. I’ve even put information in there on how to recycle your leftover candle wax, for a zero-waste burn. You can also make your own beeswax candles. It’s really easy and fun. And if you’d rather use soy then simply replace the beeswax with soy flakes to make soy candles.