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Eco conscious - A Whist brand ethic

cupped hands hold a young plant ready to be planted

Eco conscious. It is a term banded about on a daily basis. Consumers are becoming much more aware, and therefore much more conscious, that the need to be more mindful in our buying decisions is more important than ever. Our beautiful planet is crying out for us to be more gentle with our tread upon it. Many of us are trying to make more eco conscious choices, and that is brilliant! All small changes, collectively, add up to big.

However. As demand in conscious shopping increases, so do the claims by companies and brands, that they are an "eco friendly" company. I am not saying for one moment that everyone is out to trick us. I think in many cases, especially  with small businesses, they simply have limited knowledge in this area. It can all be incredibly confusing! Brands think because they use something that is recycled, it automatically makes them an eco friendly company, despite what other, not-so-eco practises they may have! Unfortunately, until regulation becomes stricter, it is down to us, the consumer, to be more aware in what really is eco conscious.

So, with all this in mind, I thought it would be useful to tell you the ways Whist is eco conscious. I will, in the interest of total transparency, also tell you areas I know I could do better and am actively trying to. 

Eco Conscious as a personal ethic

Being an eco conscious, vegan brand is not just a statement I make because it is a popular declaration at the moment. Whist is eco conscious because is a heartfelt, absolute conviction I have that it is the only way we should be. I am passionate about nature, about our planet, and about all creatures we share it with. I live an eco, vegan lifestyle, and have done so for many years. You will often find me in a pre-loved shop or seeking out vintage finds for my home!

vintage books with an amber Whist candle

My passion to live sustainably even became my job for a while. Up until 2021 I wrote a monthly magazine column on living eco friendly, and I have wrote a sustainable lifestyle blog since 2017. I have a wealth of knowledge in this area, (but never claim to be an expert),  but continuously strive to learn and be better.

Eco conscious as a brand ethic

I am fully aware that a candle can never be fully eco friendly. Just the very fact that it is an object that is not 100% needed, scores it lower in the eco stakes. However, many of us consider candles a huge part of our self care and wellbeing, so having as eco friendly option as possible, is the best solution.

picture is of a white blossom on a brown branch

So, what does Whist do that makes us eco conscious? 

Here are just some of the ways;

* Every Whist product is made from a biodegradable, UK/European grown rapeseed wax, with a tiny amount of sustainably grown coconut wax mixed in for stability. Totally plant based with zero additives. As the rapeseed is grown in the UK, or close by in Europe, it means there is no transporting the wax thousands of miles to get here to the UK. Rapeseed is also a much less thirsty plant than soy, so again, lowers its carbon footprint.

* Sales from the coconut wax used, are invested into teaching the coconut farmers how to farm sustainably for both people and planet. Education on sustainable practises is such a fantastic, critical step in healing the climate crisis. 

* The wick's in my candles are made from either paper filaments, or sustainable cotton.

* The labels on the candle jars are biodegradable, with a plant based ink and degradable adhesive. 

whist candle in a frosted jar

* The glasses are recyclable, but I encourage you to reuse them. That is ALWAYS a more sustainable option as so much of what goes into recycling, does not in fact get recycled. I have given lots of ideas to repurpose them in last months post - reusing your jars

* All postage packaging is made from responsibly sourced materials, and fully recyclable. Even the packing peanuts I use can be dissolved in hot water. 

* Gift boxes, tissue paper and ribbon are also environmentally friendly. Our ribbon is made from plastic bottles, and the boxes and tissue paper are from sustainable materials. 

* I do not use any single use plastic, even if it claims to be recyclable, in the making of any Whist products. All of the wax melts I make are made in reusable moulds. I only use glass or metal reusable tools. The wraps the wax melt bars come in are fully compostable.

* The botanicals I use are from my garden, foraging, or flowers I have been bought.

* Whist has its business bank account with one of the top 3 sustainable banks. 

* We use the UK's most environmentally friendly delivery company.

* As an aromatherapist, it is important to me to harness the gifts that nature gives us. I use sustainable, responsibly sourced essential oils, (and lots are organic, "Soil Association" approved), but never an oil from any of the "at risk" species of flora and fauna.

* I never use oils that have a large carbon footprint, such as sandalwood. To extract sandalwood oil, the entire tree is killed. That is not sustainable, and is also heartbreaking! 

* I plant trees with a non-profit reforestation programme, from every single order and have done since Whist launched.

one tree planted poster

 

* The labels that come on the Mini Moments candles are plantable. The label is infused with wild flower seeds, so beautiful, bee friendly blooms will grow from them

* I only partner with suppliers that are also eco conscious, and trying to be the best they can be. I request minimal packaging when I place orders, and ALWAYS re-use packaging my orders come in. 

Areas I hope to do better in

As any of you that try to live eco friendly know, it is not always possible to be 100%. Sometimes, companies just do not yet produce an eco friendly alternative to things. I am forever looking and hoping that an alternative will become available! But I feel it is important to be transparent. So, here are a couple areas I am actively working on to be better:

* Although the candle lids are made from sustainably sourced bamboo, (much more eco than wood), they do have a silicone insert the make them fit snugly. I would love companies to make an eco alternative to this. So, I now have the option available to be more sustainable, for customers to choose to not have a lid/box sent with the candle. 

* My soon-to-be-launched collection of reed diffusers have a single use plastic item. The "plug" that prevents any leakages from the diffuser in transport, is plastic. There is no alternative to this as yet, but I am again hoping suppliers strive to find one.

* Wastage. Although I try to keep my waste to a minimum in the production of a Whist product, it is inevitable that there will be some. For example, if I break a wax melt bar when de-molding it, I will not sell it. Obviously the scent is not affected, so I do then use them at home or give them to family, but there are only so many wax melts a girl can store! A solution I have for this, is to offer "imperfectly perfect" boxes. These will be boxes with a few of these broken wax melt bars in, at a reduced rate. Cost effective for the consumer, and no waste. 

botanical drawing

 

I hope this post has offered you a little insight into Whist efforts to only tread gently on the planet. I am not claiming to be perfect, but I guarantee you, I will always be looking to do even more. That is my absolute promise. 

Thanks for reading,

Kerry x