Is your palm wax 100% natural?
Palm oil itself is a steam distilled pure essential oil. Most palm plantations use conventional agricultural methods. However, there is a growing interest in organic farming, and we purchase certified organic palm wax from Colombia and Brazil.
Some of the palm wax is made by chilling the oil and spinning it around to isolate the oils (waxes) with the highest melt point. In order to obtain the harder, crystalline wax, the oil is hydrogenated (the same process used to make margarine).
Soy wax is most often a blend of waxes (soy, palm, & beeswax) that can contain as little as 25% soy oil. All soy wax is chemically distilled, with synthetic additives and mostly from GMO seed. Even hydrogenated, the soy wax stays buttery and oily, so it can only be used in containers. In our Palm Wax section, we are collecting articles from independent conservationists to illustrate what we believe: palm wax is more environmentally sustainable than soy wax.
Does palm wax or soy candle wax contain toxic additives?
Another way to consider the naturalness or purity of candles is to look at how the wax was refined and whether the candle colors or fragrances contain synthetic and possibly harmful petrochemicals. Paraffin and GMO soy wax is chemically distilled with petrochemical solvents, like hexane.
Soy candles then can never be certified organic. Only a very small percentage of all "soy candles" is actually made from 100% soy. Soy candle wax is almost always a blend of waxes that contains chemical additives.
Palm oil is steam-distilled, without the use of chemicals. In the case of regular palm wax, the oil is then hydrogenated (hardened) into wax, which does not require harmful chemicals. Certified organic palm wax is obtained by steam distillation and then chilling and spinning the oil, a process that does not require any non-organic substances
Where does your palm wax come from?
The palm wax we use is made from food grade palm oil. We only work with palm oil from plantations that are certified for using only sustainable agricultural practices. At the moment, we purchase palm wax from Malaysia, Brazil and Colombia. Indonesia is also a major producer of palm oil and palm wax, but because of uncertainty relative to what type of plantations it comes from, we do not use Indonesian palm wax in our candles.
Unfortunately, there are still agro-companies in Indonesia that clear tropical rainforest, especially in Borneo and Sumatra. This is, in our view, completely not necessary because there are large areas of land (previously deforested by logging companies) that could be turned into palm oil plantations. The palm wax we receive from Brazil and Colombia is from sustainable, certified organic agriculture. The tree farms in those countries are located on fields depleted by conventional farming, especially row-crops and cattle.
What are some of the benefits of palm wax?
Palm oil is a renewable resource and, unlike with soy oil and soy plantations, it requires a lot of manual labor to maintain the palm orchards, providing work for many farmers in Third World countries. Palm wax candles are very hard, smooth and dry. They can withstand summer heat without bending or melting and don't have an "oily" feel.
Why do your candles have a marble/crystal texture?
It is the nature of palm wax when it is hand poured at a lower temperature. Doing that and pouring in distinct layers, and letting it cool before the next pour, is a signature technique that we use to make candles.
Where did palm wax originate?
Essentially palm plantations are concentrated in Malaysia and other south East Asian countries. It is an ancient crop originally found in Africa. The palm tree produces several clusters of fruits, which are known as palm fruit. These bunches of fruit are then sent to oil mills so that they can undergo the process of sterilization. This is done in order to remove all traces of germs and bacteria. After that they undergo bunch stripping, after which the oil is extracted with the use of specialized machinery in the mills. This oil is then classified on the basis of hue, color, texture and viscosity. After that the final stage of palm oil extraction is called purification where with the use of various methods the correct texture of the oil is reached.
Are certain candle waxes better than others?
Yes and No. All types of candle waxes can perform well, and will burn cleanly and safely when they are of high quality. Most U.S. candle manufacturers select waxes or blends of waxes based on their suitability for specific types of candles or formulation profiles, as well as their own candle-making expertise. These days however, the bulk of candle grade paraffin comes from refineries in China (since U.S. refineries pretty much stopped producing it), and our experience has been that it's harder and harder to get the right quality. Candles imported from China are, as a rule, of very inferior quality: using the cheapest paraffin, bad wicks and cheap synthetic scents. Consequently, they do not burn well and (typically) burn down quite fast.
How well do palm wax candles burn?
Not only do our Palm Wax Candles™ burn clean, which means they do not emanate lots of soot into the air, they also have the distinct advantage of a long burning time. Palm wax has a very hard texture and feel to it, which means that it does not give way readily, so even under warmer conditions our Palm Tapers™ won't bend. Our customers report that the flame is brighter than paraffin and soy candles. They especially like the crystal look and the hand poured layer effect.
Your palm candle labels are kind of plain compared to Yankee Candles. Why?
One of the best compliments we got at a show was customer coming over and saying, "Dude, I recognized your candles: you do the naked jars without labels." We put our money into higher quality pure and natural ingredients, not the packaging and the labeling.