Before we started to make candles we noticed that candle offerings tended to skew towards two ends of a spectrum: extremely cheap candles you can burn all the time and extremely expensive candles that function more as display pieces than actual candles. We knew that we didn't want to make low quality candles in the interest of selling large quantities (the best sustainable behavior is to consume less), but we also felt that expensive one-note candles were more about the name than the candle itself. Coming from a city populated by immigrants who don't always have theadsf we wanted to make a quality candle that someone would be proud to have in their home while still being accessible. We've outlined some of the elements that make our candles special.
Each scent has its own story inspired by our heritage, upbringing, or personal experiences. We love that whether we share our favorite movie like Howl's Moving Castle through our scent Sophie's Garden or sharing a specific memory of our parent's cutting fruit for us growing up through the scent Tam, these are stories many Asian Americans can relate to. Our scents were also meant to be enjoyed by everyone and we are happy to share a piece of our story through them.
We use coconut wax for our candles. Coconut wax is slowly becoming more popular and for good reasons. It has a clean, slow burn making it a long lasting candle that really highlights any scent it carries. If we had to choose a wax just based off the quality of the candle we'd choose coconut wax every time.
The environmental benefits are where we think this candle is special. The common environmental alternative to paraffin wax is soy wax. Now don't get us wrong, we love soy. Tram makes soy-milk yogurt weekly! The problem is that industrial farming of soy has lead to massive deforestation (that's another issue). What we like about coconut wax is that it's derived from a high-yield crop lessening the environmental impact from the supply side of things.
Please note that coconut wax has a lower melt-point and has issues of sweating or melting during shipment in extremely hot weather. Given global warming, that is becoming a more pressing issue. As such we are experimenting with making a summer blend that will still be majority coconut wax, but with an additive to help firm the wax for shipment.
Our glass jars and screw top lids are completely recyclable. Imagine our shock when we learned that most candle jars are in fact non-recyclable. While we love the look of a traditional candle jar, we would be remiss to not offer our customers the option to recycle our jars. Our jars are recyclable because we use jars made of container glass. Container glass (also known as soda-lime glass) is traditionally used for bottles and any container used to store food. The benefit of glass is that it can be recycled 100% to make new glass leading to the misconception that any glass can be recycled. The problem is that when we introduce non-container glass into the recycling process it actually contaminates the recycling process weakening new glass. We changed our jars right before we launched, but we're happy we did!
Our labels are printed on label paper made from sugar cane. It may sound crazy, but our labels are currently hand-cut. Why would we do such a thing? Well it's simple. We're trying to minimize waste. At our current production levels we have no need for thousands of labels. Now imagine a roll of labels or a sheet of labels and the amount of waste that is found in between the labels themselves. So we figured with a little bit of creative layouts and a knife we could simply cut the labels so that the only waste is on the edges from the printer margins and the back liner. Crazy? Yes, but we're okay with crazy.