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If you’re anything like me, then a candle is a necessary luxury; a small act of self-care that works wonders. There’s nothing I love more than sinking into a hot bubble bath or cosying up with a good book, bathed in the light of a deliciously-scented candle. So I’m excited to share with you the best soy candles in the UK that I’ve found!

Why soy wax candles in particular? Well, if I’m completely honest, I’d never really paid much attention to what went into a candle before I turned vegan! But once I started looking into things in more detail, I realised that natural candles are infinitely better for your health, the planet, and animals – as well as burning cleaner and for longer. What’s not to love?!

So whether you’re looking to de-stress with some cosy minimalist vibes or you’re after a cruelty-free gift for a loved one, explore my top picks of natural and non-toxic soy candles below!

My Top Picks

Madekind

Olivetreehome

Illumine Candle Co

Here are the 7 best vegan & cruelty-free natural candles in the UK

There are so many benefits to choosing clean and natural soy wax – whether you want to look after your health, are environmentally conscious, care about animals, or all of the above! I’ve covered this in more depth further on in this post, so skip ahead if you’re interested in learning more.

But for now, let’s get straight to it. Here are some of my favourite brands producing cruelty-free and non-toxic candles that will bring you peace and tranquillity after a long day.

1. Madekind

  • My Pick: Focus Aromatherapy Candle
  • Why: This blend of essential oils includes lavender, rosemary and peppermint, which are designed to enhance mental clarity and focus. Creates a calm and productive ambience.
  • Specs: 500ml
  • Use code IVVEO10 for 10% off your order

Madekind’s range of 100% hand-poured candles is made from soy wax (derived from soybean oil), which makes them the perfect natural choice for your home. All candles are non-toxic, vegan and biodegradable. Madekind live by the mantra ‘refill, re-use, recycle’, and also produce lovely cleaning products – everything you need for a natural home.

Packaging: This sustainable 500ml candle comes in a beautiful amber glass jar with an aluminium lid, which can be endlessly repurposed or easily recycled. It is also presented in a kraft gift box, making it the ideal gift option for someone special (yourself, perhaps?!).

2. Olivetreehome Candle House

  • My Pick: Ceramic Five Wick Peppery Rose Soy Candle
  • Why: If you’re looking for a centrepiece that makes a statement, then look no further! Housed in a handmade ceramic pot made from British stone clay, and finished using a traditional lino block technique for a truly unique product.
  • Specs: 1,500g

Olivetreehome’s vegan candles are free from parabens, phthalates and other chemical nasties. Instead, they are created from a simple trio of ingredients: essential oils, soy wax flakes and cotton wicks. Each piece of their ceramic collection is made individually by hand, meaning that no two pieces are the same (which only adds to their lovely individual charm!). Founder Helen also offers candle-making courses in Kent.

Packaging: You’ll want to treasure your Olivetreehouse candle pot for a lifetime – simply clean out and reuse this timeless classic piece of pottery. Every aspect of their packaging is recyclable, and they even offer handy refills for all candle sizes.

3. Illumine Candle Co

  • My Pick: Vanilla Hazelnut Soy Wax Candle
  • Why: To get the most bang for your buck, try Illumine Candle Co’s scrumptious-smelling Vanilla Hazelnut soy candle for a long-lasting burn. Sweet, creamy hazelnuts blended with cinnamon, cloves, and a hint of coffee – mm mmm!
  • Specs: 300ml | 50 hours+ burn time

To support a small business that respects the planet and animals, buy from Illumine Candle Co. Their collection of natural candles is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free and palm oil-free. Hand-poured in small batches in Devon, these lovely candles are made from 100% soy wax, then infused with deliciously-scented essential oils to boost your mood.

Packaging: Housed in simple glass jars with aluminium lids, all Illumine products and packaging are environmentally conscious (either biodegradable or recyclable).

4. Earl of East

  • My Pick: Wildflower Soy Wax Candle
  • Why: Evocative of a bursting summer meadow, this bespoke blend of jasmine, gardenia and rose geranium was inspired by the founder’s fond memories of spending time in their grandparent’s English country garden.
  • Specs: 500ml | 85-100 hours burn time

Hand-poured in East London, Earl of East’s vegan and cruelty-free candles are ethically sourced, phthalate-free and RSPO-certified. They are made using eco-soy (non-GMO) wax that is harvested in the US, then manufactured here in the UK. A unique feature is that each candle has a ‘scent story’ and even comes with its own suggested playlist! They have two stores in London, if you’re in the area.

Packaging: The amber glass jars used for their candles are manufactured in the UK and 100% recyclable (they also have a recycling scheme for empty jars). Earl of East are partnered with Ecologi, meaning that every purchase you make plants a tree.

5. Urban Apothecary London

  • My Pick: Notorious Neroli Ruby Candle
  • Why: Be transported to sunnier climes with the scent of flowering orange blossom, alongside notes of zesty bergamot, mandarin and lime leaf. Perfect for lovers of fruity, citrus scents. It’s limited edition – so get it while you can!
  • Specs: 300g | Up to 60 hours burn time

Starting life from the kitchen table, British brand Urban Apothecary are fuelled by a passion for contemporary, high-quality fragrances. Their natural candles became so popular that, in 2015, they began in-house production with the first run of carefully hand-poured vegan candles in their Leicestershire factory. Overseen by skilled artisans at every step of the way, a lot of TLC and attention to detail goes into each and every product.

Packaging: All Urban Apothecary cruelty-free candles have been housed in beautiful glass vessels from the very beginning. This means that they can either be recycled after use or repurposed and given a second lease of life around the home.

6. Moo & Yoo

  • My Pick: Moo & Yoo Signature Candle
  • Why: A simple yet sophisticated scent, Moo & Yoo’s signature candle is a luxurious mix of floral and woody notes. The sustainable wooden wick produces a lovely gentle crackle that will have you feeling cosy in no time!
  • Specs: 200g

Edinburgh-based Moo & Yoo’s signature candle is made with 100% natural and biodegradable soy wax (which comes from renewable sources). Guided by strong ethical principles, Moo & Yoo are committed to using high-quality natural ingredients, as well as being vegan, cruelty-free and palm oil-free. They also give back with various local and national charitable initiatives.

Packaging: Their luxurious candle comes in a reusable heavy-weight glass jar with a bamboo lid. Labels are printed on recycled paper using eco-friendly, vegetable-based inks. They have also worked to minimise unnecessary packaging and boxes when shipping your order.

7. Upcircle

  • My Pick: Chai Latte Soy Wax Candle
  • Why: A warming cup of chai latte is quite possibly my favourite winter beverage, so it makes sense that I’d recommend this candle as the perfect festive addition to any room! Decadent, cosy, and oh-so comforting.
  • Specs: 180ml | Up to 35 hours burn time
  • Use code INTENTIONALVIEW for 10% off your order

I’ve spoken about B-Corp-certified Upcircle before in my post on the best natural and organic skincare. This is a fantastically innovative company looking to close the loop on waste, by using upcycled materials from the food sector to create their luxury products. Their candles are hand-poured in Yorkshire with sustainably sourced soy wax, using residual chai spices and repurposed coffee grounds.

Packaging: Your Upcircle candle sits snugly in a glass jar and is shipped in fully recyclable packaging. A planet-friendly option that has the added benefit of looking effortlessly stylish.

Why Are Soy Wax Candles Better Than Traditional Candles?

Before you splash out on your next luxury candle or pick up a bargain from your local supermarket, here are some things to consider for a kinder, healthier, and more sustainable candlelit glow.

Standard candles are made from fossil fuels

These days, unless otherwise stated, candles tend to be made from paraffin wax – a fossil fuel-derived petroleum by-product that is extracted from crude oil. This involves energy-intensive processes that take their toll on the environment.

It’s best to steer clear of products supporting the oil industry where possible. Crude oil is toxic and responsible for many environmental disasters.

Soy candles, on the other hand, are made from soy wax – a natural and renewable vegetable wax that is quite simply made from the oil of soybeans. By purchasing soy candles, you’re choosing the more sustainable and eco-friendly option.

Are candles bad for you?

Burning paraffin wax & artificial fragrances releases toxic chemicals

Oil industry aside, are paraffin candles dangerous? Well, there is much debate around the subject. There are only trace amounts of toxins released when burning paraffin wax. And, as of yet, there isn’t enough research to suggest that these pose a genuine health threat.

However, when we are repeatedly exposed to harmful chemicals every day in the products we use, why would you choose to put yourself at risk?

Paraffin wax contains toxins that can be breathed in when burned, including known carcinogens like benzene, toluene and naphthalene (among others). This doesn’t even take into account the cocktail of chemicals sitting under the guise of ‘artificial fragrance’, which means more hidden nasties that can produce rashes, allergic reactions and more long-term chronic health conditions.

Even the soot from paraffin candles worsens air quality and leaves a residue, negatively affecting cardiovascular and respiratory health.

Soy wax is naturally vegan

Although paraffin candles are technically ‘vegan’, many also contain animal-derived ingredients like stearic acid to help harden the wax. This is made from animal fats such as tallow (a material traditionally used by our ancestors when making candles).

Beeswax is another commonly used paraffin alternative which vegans will want to avoid.

Unless a brand specifically mentions that their products are vegan (i.e. use no animal ingredients) and cruelty-free (i.e. do not test on animals), then it’s always safest to assume the worst. Always check with a company before purchasing if it isn’t made clear.

All of the candles I’ve listed in this article are vegan and cruelty-free – the kinder option compared to traditional candles. Alongside soy, other vegan-friendly plant-based waxes you may wish to consider include coconut, palm or vegetable.

Deforestation

But isn't soy production bad for the environment?

Soy has a bad rep because, admittedly, it is a major contributor to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. As such, you may be questioning whether it’s really that much better than crude oil-derived wax, or simply the lesser of two evils.

While nothing will ever have a perfect zero impact, we can still make the best possible choices that we can.

It’s worth pointing out that soybeans are primarily grown for animal feed, which is driven by demand from the meat industry. If 75% of all the world’s soy is used for this purpose, then it’s safe to say that your soy candles aren’t exactly responsible for deforestation. If you’re still concerned, look out for soy that comes from EU or sustainable sources, which ethical brands should make clear.

What to Look Out For When Choosing Non-Toxic Candles

Even with the best intentions, it can prove difficult to shop more ethically.

Product labels can easily be misleading. For instance, a ‘natural soy candle’ could still contain a mixture of paraffin and soy wax. It’s therefore best to look for labels like ‘made from 100% natural soy wax’.

It also helps to look for candles that use sustainably sourced essential oils in their ingredients list, rather than chemically-made scents. These actually help to improve air quality and have numerous aromatherapy health benefits.

If palm oil is included, it will ideally be RSPO-certified. Other certifications to look out for include non-GMO, COSMOS, PETA and Leaping Bunny approval.

Finally, check that the wick is made from cotton or wood rather than metal, as metal can contribute to toxic emissions.

Relaxing with a sustainable soy candle

Non-Toxic Candles: Better For Your Health, the Planet & Animals

It’s clear we all need to embrace eco-friendly alternatives… [Home is] where you spend so much of your time, and even small changes in your everyday life can make a big difference.

Madekind

I hope that this post has been informative and you can now enjoy some wonderful new scents – basking in a candlelit glow knowing that you are truly feeling good and as well as doing good.

It goes without saying to always be careful when using candles (if you’re feeling sleepy, err on the safe side and blow them out!). Also, clean and reuse your empties after use where you can. Many companies now offer refills, which also have the added benefit of working out cheaper in the long run. Alternatively, you could get creative and repurpose a candle pot as a plant pot or storage jar.

To check out more ethical buying guides, take a look at my everyday swaps and suggestions here. And don’t forget to let me know how you get on in the comments below!

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