Today let’s talk soy candles. And not just any old soy candles. The best soy candles that are eco-friendly for a cosy and sustainable glow.
The thing I love buying most isn’t ethical shoes. It isn’t houseplants. 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 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. 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 source 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!
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Handmade Candle Co
Handmade Candle Co’s* luxury soy wax candles are hand-poured in Shropshire. Made with 100% vegetable soy wax, these are fragranced with phthalate-free fragrance oils.
Price: from £14
Old Man & Magpie
Old Man and Magpie* 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
Osie Norfolk Soy Candles
Osie Norfolk’s* beautiful sustainable candles are hand-poured in Norfolk, and are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as palm oil-free. Made from 100% soy wax, they are also scented will all-natural phthalate-free ingredients and essential oils. And for an added eco-friendly bonus, you can buy a candle refill* from Osie for just £7.99 once you’ve burned the candle. Alternatively, you can reuse the lovely terracotta pots for plants in your home or garden.
Price: £7.99 for refills, £18 for the candle and terracotta pot.
Paddy Wax soy candles, available online from Ethical Superstore*, are one of my long-standing favourites. I’m currently burning the redwood amber candle, which has a lovely sweet yet earthy scent (derived from essential oils) that I find hard-pushed to describe.
Paddy Wax 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 fragrance a larger area, such as a living room. However, they may be a bit overpowering in a small bathroom, for example. Save your Paddy Wax candle for fragrance purposes, rather than mood lighting when you’re in the bath!
What I love most about Paddy Wax is that the candles come in a wide variety of holders. 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 £11.95
Vegan Bunny’s* eco-friendly candles tick a lot of boxes. Handmade in Britain from 100% natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, not only are they plastic-free, but vegan and cruelty-free too.
Price: from £10
YR Studio Soy Candles
All of YR Studio’s soy candles* 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, these are a sturdy sustainable swap for standard petroleum-based candles.
Price: from £14.99
I’m a fan of PF Candles stylish ethical soy candles*. In particular the amber and moss fragrance. PF Candles are pretty strong smelling, so they are best suited if you want to fragrance a room, rather than wanting to create ambiance through candlelight.
Price: from £24.99
Do you have a particular favourite soy candle brand?
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. You can also make your own beeswax candles. It’s really easy and fun. If you’d rather use soy then simply replace the beeswax with soy flakes to make soy candles.