Why we love paraffin wax!

Despite being scientifically disproven time and again, myths about the woes of paraffin wax and the virtues of plant-based wax still persist and are used by many plant-based wax candle makers to enhance their own sales. Sadly these myths are still believed by many. At one time, when we first embarked on our candle making journey, this included ourselves! Fortunately we have long since discovered not only the truth, but also the fantastic performance of paraffin wax.

We aim to redress the balance and change the narrative by giving credit where it is due and singing the praises of this amazing wax.

1. Everything you may have heard about paraffin wax sooting more, giving off toxic chemicals, having an 'unclean' burn, even being carcinogenic, is 100% untrue. Originating from a couple of very flawed studies (repeatedly disproven through credible research) combined with aggressive marketing campaigns by soy producers, sadly these untruths are still propagated by many candle makers. Aside from the dubious ethics of makers who continue to make reference to such inaccurate claims to promote sales of their own non-paraffin plant-based wax products, we think it also constitutes greenwashing by making consumers think they are buying something that is better for the environment than it really is. No thank you! We’ll stick to making the best candles possible and focus on things that really make a difference to our environmental impact (see About Us to find out more on this). 2. Used by candle makers for hundreds of years, quite simply it can’t be easily beaten for hot throw (the power of scent a candle gives out when lit) and there really is no contest between a soy candle and a paraffin-based candle. And we should know as we have used both extensively!

3. The petroleum industry, from which paraffin wax originates, is quite rightly regarded poorly when it comes to eco-credentials, but the point about paraffin wax is that it is a by-product of petroleum production: it is using up something that would otherwise go to waste. Yes there is a need to reduce - and we hope soon to end completely - our reliance on petroleum, but while ever it exists to any extent we think it makes sense to put the waste products created during its production to good use. The same cannot be said for plant based waxes, for which crops are grown specifically for the purpose of wax production. And incidentally, for those who think plant based waxes are better because they offer a more natural alternative to paraffin, there is nothing natural about the process by which waxes like soy are created. They are not just 'harvested' from crops, they are synthesised in vast processing units through an intensive chemical process called hydrogenation. The only wax that can really be considered truly 'natural' in our opinion is beeswax, which of course is not a vegan friendly option. And as soon as fragrance is added the whole 'natural' argument becomes irrelevant anyway. 4. Unscented paraffin wax doesn’t smell bad. If you’ve ever smelled plain melted soy wax you will know exactly what we mean - think deep fat fryer and you’d be pretty close! And the fact is that once you've smelled it, you can detect that tinge of chip fat even when soy wax is scented with fragrance. 5. With paraffin and paraffin blends there is no ugly frosting, something very common with vegetable waxes and especially soy, and which develops after a few weeks regardless of storage conditions. There's also no unsightly resets between burns (again very common with plant based waxes). Plus the shelf life of paraffin-based candles and melts is much longer. 6. Paraffin can be blended with plant-based waxes for awesome performance and optimal characteristics. Our current paraffin candle blend uses UK grown rapeseed – a crop that’s abundant in the UK – which lowers the carbon footprint of our wax and also creates a beautifully creamy consistency which is a dream to clean out, assisting with the reuse or repurposing of our specially selected containers.

In summary

The truth is that there is no single 'wonder wax' out there, and though some do have preferable performance characteristics over others, all waxes have their own pros and cons in terms of eco credentials.

In a world where consumers increasingly want to do the right thing, we believe it's immoral to dupe your customers into thinking they are buying something that's better for the planet on the basis of disproven myths and clichés. We passionately believe in being honest and upfront about all aspects of our products and ingredients in order to allow our customers to make their own informed decisions.

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