I have to admit, I never gave much thought to the candles I burned in my home. Until Palm Done Right brand partner Way Out Wax launched their organic palm wax candles. Although my candles burned fast, dripped excessively and released black smoke, I still continued my routine candle buying behavior. When I ran out of supplies, I just bought a new stack of candles rather mindlessly. Working with Way Out Wax and talking to New York based candle makers KEAP, made me want to dig into the candle industry.
Wax is the largest component of candles. It is the fuel that allows them to burn. The candle sector relies heavily on paraffin wax for candle production. It is widely available, has great production compatibility, and it is cheap. Globally 77% of candles are made using paraffin wax.
Paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry, obtained as a solid residue from the fractional distillation of crude oil. Paraffin wax doesn’t burn clean and produces black soot. Though paraffin candles are likely not to create significant health hazards, it is said to release toxic fumes when burned. Even though the exact health effects of paraffin wax are not entirely clear, its environmental impact is less ambiguous. It is linked to one of the world’s most destructive industries. Crude oil, the origin of paraffin wax, is highly unsustainable and has been a cause of large-scale greenhouse gas emissions and many environmental calamities.