Candles have always played a significant role in my life, from blackouts to bath time, so when the stars aligned and I had an opportunity to share one of my favourite things with others - but in a more Earth conscious way - I didn’t hesitate.
I scoured the country for ingredients and containers that are Earth conscious, and rejected anything I wouldn’t put in my own home. So far, my candles include products such such as:
- Wooden wicks from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified American mills
- Soy wax from American farms
- Packaging made from recycled material that is 100% compostable, including the stickers on the jar, the tape on the box, and the mailing labels (the liners of which are recyclable, unlike ordinary Dymo labels)
- Prop 65 free scent compounds
- Recycled glass to house each hand-poured candle
But to find all of these things, I had to consider what makes a company Earth wise? Well, I ask myself about the following:
Did you know that paraffin wax is a by-product of petroleum? Petrol, gas, gasolina, 石油, peatrail, pétrole. Not many do. My first decree as business-woman Caiti was to never, ever use it.
To further minimise emissions, I buy from American suppliers and utilise carbon neutral ground shipping on all possible orders. The only exception is my glasses which are produced in Spain, so I purchase these in excess in order to minimise the need for shipping. In addition, I use my electric car to deliver all orders directly to a distribution centre here in Austin, where they go on their way to you with no need for other travel.
All of the packaging I use comes from an eco supplier: a production house that specialises in not just recycled, recyclable and compostable supplies, but one that is heavily involved with testing and inventing new ways to be Earth conscious. My support of them furthers their research into how we can continue to enjoy the things we love, in harmony with our planet.
As well as avoiding all paraffin wax with a 10 foot pole, I ensure that all of my scent mixes (compounds) contain no harmful chemicals, and that they all abide by the Proposition 65 (the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act). Abiding by this means companies help keep drinking water sources from being contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
I also ensure that none of my compounds contain phthalates (pronounced th-ah-lates) which are a family of industrial chemicals used to soften plastics and as solvents in cosmetics. Phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.
All of my scent compounds and soy wax are not tested on animals, or come from facilities that engage in animal testing. In addition, I do not source supplies from any company or organisation that has a history of testing on animals, are currently testing on animals, or who use animals in their products. I also never will.
How I hope to do better?
Soy beans require an enormous amount of water and are often the cause of heavy pesticide use. My dream is to find a supplier than can guarantee organic soy, or alternative I will completely transition to a more Earth conscious wax. Coconut wax is very popular, however I have so far been unable to source a certified Habitat Safe supplier, as coconut wax contributes to deforestation of rainforests and the destruction of Orangutan habitats.
tldr;I don't take my Earth conscious brand lightly. I am constantly learning, constantly researching, and constantly evolving in order to maintain my promise to myself that I will change the way we think about luxury items: that they can align with our desire to be Earth friendly.
When you buy from Caiti's Candles, you're supporting a women-owned and operated small business, which in turn supports my education at the Univserity of Texas at Austin. Thank you for your patronage and for your support. I hope you love your candles as much as I love making them for you.