Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Guillermina
Candles set the scene for any relaxing evening, modern décor, or romantic date. These cozy essentials are one of the most common household items, yet their ingredients may not be vegan-friendly. If you’re wondering ‘are Yankee candles vegan?’, you’re in the right place – let’s take a closer look to see if it’s time to blow out the flame on this candle brand.
What Are Candles Made Of?
Candles are all over store shelves and can even be made at home. Candles have two key parts: a wick, usually made from cotton, and a substance that will melt, like a wax. Depending on the wax used, a candle will be vegan-friendly.
What Are Yankee Candles?
Yankee Candle, an American candle manufacturer, make the most popular candles in the U.S., if not the world. They have been around for over 50 years and have managed to make a seemly endless number of scents and varieties of candles, air fresheners, and gift sets. Think: jar, mini, 3-wick, tumbler, votive – any shape, size, and scent!
Yankee Candle has a scent for any occasion and any person. On their website, choosing a category to browse is almost overwhelming. Sweet, spicy, woody, clean, citrus, floral, and fruity are just a few of their fragrance families.
What Are Yankee Candles Made Of?
Stated on their website, Yankee Candles uses only premium-grade paraffin and soy wax. Additionally, they use 100% natural fibers for the wicks.
Paraffin vs Soy Wax
Paraffin wax is a fancy way to say petroleum-based, as in petroleum oil. Not only is this harmful to the environment when it’s burned, it also causes cancer-causing particles to enter the air that you breathe. Paraffin candles can also leave a soot-like, permanent residue on items in the room.
You may be wondering how petroleum oil, a liquid, becomes solid to form a candle. During the processing of paraffin wax, chemicals are added to make it a candle, such as stearic acid. Stearic acid can be made from animal or vegetable-based fats.
While paraffin wax may be vegan if it uses vegetable-based stearic acid, its long-term impact on the environment and personal health are concerning. Unless a candle explicitly states it’s vegan-friendly or lists the type of stearic acid, it’s hard to know if it’s vegan. Many vegans choose to leave paraffin candles on the shelf, reaching for other sustainable candles instead.
Soy wax is an environmentally friendly alternative to paraffin wax. Burning a soy candle does not contribute to further polluting the air, nor do they leave a permanent residue. Made from soy and other vegetables, it’s also biodegradable and clearly a better option when choosing a candle.
Read more about Easy Guide To A Gluten-free, Soy-free Vegan Meal Plan
Are Yankee Candles Vegan?
Yankee Candles can be vegan-friendly but they do not guarantee to be free from beeswax, nor do they advertise them to be. Although they do contain a “premium” paraffin wax, it doesn’t necessarily make it safer or superior to a 100% soy wax candle. Yankee Candle has previously sold taper candles with beeswax, so those would not be considered vegan.
Is Yankee Candle Cruelty-Free?
When it comes to candles and veganism, ethical considerations are important to note. Sometimes candles and their ingredients may be tested on animals during processing. Yankee Candle doesn’t test their candles on animals, so they meet this component of vegan standards.
Non-Vegan Candle Ingredients
While Yankee Candle mostly meets the mark for a vegan candle, there are definitely non-vegan candles out there. From types of wax to scents and additives, there a few things to watch out for before buying any old candle.
Perhaps the most obvious vegan offender for candles, beeswax is made from bees. As a byproduct of bees, the concern here is in the collection of the wax itself. Animal cruelty is a hard pass for many vegans, beeswax included.
While not as popular anymore, tallow can be used to make candles. Tallow usually comes from the fat of a cow or sheep. Sometimes, it can be sourced from ethically raised animals, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s not vegan.
Like tallow, stearic acid usually comes from animal fat and is not vegan. Sometimes, stearic acid can come from coconuts. Candles using coconut-derived stearic acid can be vegan but check the label to be sure.
Vegan Candle Ingredients
When made with the right ingredients, candles can be 100% vegan.
In addition to soy, finding a candle made from rapeseed or coconut waxes is another vegan-friendly option. Vegan candles may also blend the vegetable-based waxes.
Most candle wicks are made with cotton or wood, making them vegan by default.
Not all scents are created equal, and there are a few that are more natural than others. Many cheap candles will use synthetic fragrance oils. If you’re interested in a naturally sourced scent, look for candles made with essential oils.
Ready to buy a vegan candle? Look no further, here’s a roundup of a few popular vegan candles.
- By Rosie Jane
- Meyer’s Clean Day
- Over Rose
Support Small Candlemakers
Local candlemakers may have a vegan selection of quality, hand-poured candles. They may be a little more expensive but supporting a small or local business is a plus. Here’s a few small and/or local candle brands:
- Apothenne – Los Angeles, CA
- Brooklyn Candle Studio – Brooklyn, NY
- The Burlap Bag – Austin, TX
Make your own!
Vegan candles can get pricey, so making your own can help cut the cost. Candle making may seem intimidating, but it’s one way to be sure your candle is made with vegan ingredients. Gather the materials, find a good tutorial, and have fun!
Learn more about Totally Tofurky, Italian Sausage Tomato Stir Fry Recipe
Candles are at the core of many occasions, but they aren’t always vegan. Yankee Candle uses mostly vegan ingredients and are cruelty-free. Next time you need a candle, consider buying 100% vegan, from a local vendor, or making your own.