above GATHER AND HARVEST BY ABBIE MELLE
Candles may have a reputation as a bit of a ‘mumsy’ gift, relegated to the For Her section of department stores, but like many populist things, they’re popular because people like them! And for good reason! Candles bring a fun splash of sensual indulgence to the home, combining the pleasures of things that smell nice with the hypnotising allure of flame (fire you beautiful beguiling thing; neither solid, liquid nor gas). However, not all candles are created equal. Many bottom-shelf candles are created with materials that are not sustainable and can even be harmful to the environment – think petroleum-based paraffin wax and metal-based wicks. You want to burn away your worries, not create new ones! So, when you’re looking to kick back and set a mood, strike out for these sustainable candles that are as kind to the planet as they are to your peace of mind.
The goods of Nonna’s Grocer may look like ordinary fruits and vegetables but they are actually intricately rendered fruit and vegetable shaped candles! The family business is run by two sisters, Madeline and Isabel Hoy, and inspired by their great-grandparent’s local fruit shop in ye olde Daylesford, Victoria. Just like real food, each candle is perfectly imperfect, and lovingly made by hand in their Sydney studio.
Infuse your home with the unique scents of Australia with hand-poured soy candles from Clare Makes, the brainchild of Sydney-based maker Clare Neilson. Made with native ingredients such as Kakadu plum, wattle, boronia and lemon myrtle, each candle is named after a significant person from Australia’s history from Constance Stone – Australia’s first officially qualified female doctor – to author, feminist and literary prize benefactor Miles Franklin.
LEAF CANDLE CO
Turn your used tuna cans into fragrant delights with the help of the clever kids at Leaf Candle Co. The brand upcycles small and large cans into containers for their hand-poured soy candles featuring dreamy scents such as sun-washed linen, peach and watermelon lemonade. They also offer candle-making kits and workshops so you can create the magic at home. Best of all, you can send them your old cans to recycle and they’ll give you a Tiny Tin candle for free or a 10% discount code.
LITTLE BLACK DUCK
First Nations artist Ashleigh Pengelly is the mastermind behind Little Black Duck, where she shares her art and culture through the medium of fun and functional homewares, from her signature hand-painted teapots and serving boards to soy candles hand-poured on Wiradjuri Country. Her range includes the Quintessentially Australian collection which features the scents of banksia, lemon myrtle, Kakadu plum, golden wattle and the Wiradjuri Language collection which teaches vocabulary from the language of the Country of their creation.
GATHER AND HARVEST
Founded in 2017 in the Victorian High Country by Lee Docherty, Gather and Harvest works with the Bali Street Mum’s Project to repurpose glass bottles into gorgeous candle jars. While helping underprivileged women find secure housing, food and healthcare, along with providing work opportunities, the sustainable candles are then hand-poured in Mount Beauty, Victoria.
CARMEN GET IT!
Melbourne-based designer, writer and all-around superstar Carmen Hawker off all kinds of eminently craveable goodies at CARMEN GET IT!. Working with other talented women-makers across Australia, Carmen creates joyful, colourful and fiercely feminist wares – including some showstopping candles. Created with local, LGBTQIA-owned business Feminist Candle Co, these bold beauties aren’t just pleasing to the eyes and fragrant to the nose, they’re easy on the mind, hand-poured in Australia from soy wax with quality, lead-free wicks to give you that good burn.
You’ll be hard-pressed to take Öde Studio’s candles out from their box, adorned as they are with luscious Australian landscapes by artist Julian Jones. Once you venture inside, however, you’ll discover transportive scent profiles as delicate and beautiful as their painted packaging. Designed and poured in Melbourne, the vegan soy wax candles are inspired by nature with timeless and balanced blends including light citrus, crinkled linen and lavender, and black sandalwood and bergamot with hints of tobacco leaves and smoke.
The good people at Gro wear many hats, mostly of the sensible, broad-brimmed variety that true gardeners prefer – but they also don whatever the headgear of a chandler may be (that’s the traditional term for someone who makes candles) to create their Urban Oasis candle collection. Hand-poured in Byron Bay, the candles are petroleum, paraffin and palm oil free, and made from 100% pure soy with pure cotton wicks to ensure a clean burn and a gorgeous ambient glow. Sit back and be soothed by the four fragrant blends.
MOJO CANDLE CO
What better to fill your Mojo Dojo Casa House with than sustainable candles from Mojo Candle Co? Made in the Southern Highlands in a studio powered by GreenPower, these luxurious hand-poured soy wax candles are housed in reclaimed wine and beer bottles, a process that has saved thousands of tonnes of glass waste from landfills around Australia. Sit back and sip some vino next to a wild basil and cucumber candle or crack open a brewski with the boys alongside a freshwater, barbershop or tobacco and hay-scented number.