Wax On Wax Off: Why We Say No To Soy

Soy Ain't All That, So What Is?

When starting IRIS Candles we searched for the best quality waxes. We were looking for a wax that is environmentally friendly, slow burning and soot-free with a strong scent throw (the scent of the candle spreads well throughout the room). While almost every candle on the market seemed to be using soy or paraffin waxes, we weren't convinced. 

So what's wrong with soy?

Soy Beans


Since the 19th century paraffin wax has been the go to for candle making due to its low cost and plentiful supply. As a byproduct of petroleum, paraffin is not sustainable and contributes to demand for fossil fuel use. Parrafin is also not clean burning as it releases black soot and toxic fumes which have been found to be carcinogenic. When looking for alternatives, there are a number of other possibilities.

From palm oil to soy, there are options out there but they each come with a list of concerns. Deforestation is a real problem and most soy waxes are not ethically or sustainably sourced. What's more, soy is often genetically modified which helps to make it a very cheap product but that doesn't mean it benefits the consumer. It is also not grown widely in the UK, therefore making it much less sustainable when compared with more eco-friendly alternatives. 

It's hard to find the perfect candle wax as each wax has their pros and cons but coconut wax is pretty much the full package when it comes to delivering on excellent scent throw and clean burn.

Here are some of the key benefits of coconut wax:


Environmentally friendly

Coconut wax is formed from the hydrogenation of coconut oil. This is the process in which coconut oil is converted into a harder wax with a higher melting point. This makes coconuts the perfect material for making candles. Thus, these candles comprise of entirely organic and renewable material. They, therefore have a very minimal environmental impact. They guarantee sustainable ecological preservation. While there have been studies that have questioned the potential harm of coconut farming on the environment, largely coconut farms are small family run plantations that have minimal environmental impact. We sustainably source our coconut wax from a local small business and want to ensure our business has a limited impact on the environment. 

Slow burn

Coconut wax allows for a slow and even burn, so you can enjoy your candle for even longer and will save some coin. It also allows the candle to the bottom without that annoying build up of wax around the edges.

Smoke free

While paraffin is known for creating toxic, black soot, coconut wax doesn't give off any soot and toxins. This allows you to feel good burning your candle, knowing you're keeping you and your family safe and don't have to worry about black marks streaking up your walls.

Good for farmers

Cutting Open Coconut

Local farmers have found a way to grow coconut trees without deforestation and are able to make a good livelihood from growing and selling coconuts, so you know your candle is ethically sourced and supporting the farmers directly.

Coconut wax and co.

Pots of Candle Wax

However, coconut wax alone tends to become crumbly once melted. This caused our quest for the perfect wax to continue. We decided to blend coconut wax with candelilla wax and olive wax. These waxes have much higher melting points than coconut wax and when blended together create the perfect scent throw and melt beautifully. Additionally, candelilla wax is the perfect choice due to the rigorous protection around its use. Candelilla wax is made from the leaves of the candelilla plant found in the Chihuahuan desert in Mexico. Before harvesting the plant, farmers are required to hold a permit and disclose how much of the plant they require and for what purpose. This ensures the plant is sustainably sourced.

Olive wax has environmental impacts due to soil erosion causing problems with waterways however, when produced responsibly, olive wax is a sustainable and environmentally friendly form of wax. However, while we started out using candelilla and olive, we wanted something more home grown, so have made the switch to rapeseed wax. Rapeseed is sustainable and renewable and is abundant in the UK which makes it a wonderful choice. It also has an excellent scent throw so you have the same incredible scent and the knowledge that your wax is locally sourced.

There are so many great wax options on the market but our favourite is coconut by far. If you want to explore  our beautiful range of coconut and rapeseed wax candles, click here.