The Clean and Safe Alternative... Why?
Corkee began in 2018 with the manufacture of Scented Crystals. Following spillages of wax from wax melts, and expensive repairs, re-decorating of rooms and even a replacement sofa, we decided there must be a better way. We set out to find it!
We had obvious reasons in terms of cleanliness and risk of burns. Anyone who has ever experienced a wax spillage will know just how difficult and time consuming it can to clean, as well as time consuming and potentially costly.
We didn't know at the time, however, the environmental impact of wax. The majority of home fragrance wax products are made from paraffin wax, soy wax or a blend containing one or both of these products.
Crude oil, being the origin of paraffin wax, is considered highly unsustainable, being a non-renewable resource. It has also been the cause of many environmental calamities, in oil spills, damage of natural habitats and climate change.
So what about Soy? Surely that's better, right?
Well, yes it is. But it still isn't eco-friendly as it's often advertised. Just saying that a product is 'Eco-Friendly;, doesn't make it so, it's much more complicated than that. While the soy plant is a natural product, soy wax is not. The plant is grown, then distributed, the processed to be burnt as wax.
The phrase '100% Soy' can be misleading. A candle or wax melt using soy wax is processed (like other candles) and can have additives (like other candles) to make it burn. Soy grown on an industrial scale has a multitude of negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. Just being a plant doesn't make it Eco-friendly.
Soy production has grown tenfold in the last 50 years, fuelled by its high yield per area, variety of uses and easily marketable environmental benefits. It’s estimated the total area of soy now covers the combined area of France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Europe (where we're based) imports around 35x more soy than it produces. This soy demand equates to around 15mil ha of land, 13 million of which is in South America. For comparison, this area is equivalent to 90% of all the agricultural area of Germany, just for soy.
Soy wax uses a mechanical process to separate the soybean matter from the oil. The oil is then refined and bleached. Soybean oil is then heated to 140-220 degrees Celsius in a hydrogenating machine. More than just soy goes into making soy wax, the wax is chemically distilled with hexane, bleached with chlorine, deodorized with boric acid and then hydrogenated.
Now, this isn’t to say that any other wax doesn’t use chemical processes in production. But we want to drive home - soy wax is more than just soybean off the plant.
- Soy wax isn’t natural. Soy is natural – if it isn’t GM soy, or hasn't been planted in the place of natural rain-forest that was formed over hundreds of years.
- Natural doesn’t mean sustainable - not if it’s grown in monocultures on cut down rain-forests on continually decreasing quality soil and at the expense of global water tables.
- To be labelled as a soy candle, it only has to be 51% soy. Even ‘100% soy’ candles may be processed with a small amount of paraffin.
What do we use and why?
We use a salt based crystal to make our Scented Crystals, The type used is 100% sodium chloride with no additives and therefore no nasty chemicals.
Our fragrances do contain chemicals, which are listed on each product in accordance with the CLP Regulations. You can rest assured, however, that there is no petroleum, hexane, chlorine or boric acid in our base product.
If they are dropped or knocked, they can be simply brushed or vacuumed, resulting in no stains. They can also simply tipped out of the well of the burner after use for a quick and easy scent change.
This, is why Corkee's Scented Crystals are the Clean, Safe Alternative to Wax.