When Covid-19 hit the United States and we were all stuck at home, I had nothing better to do with my time than read anything and everything I could get my hands on. From trashy romance novels to the label on my shampoo bottle, I absorbed as much knowledge (or smut) as I could. They say "idle hands are the devil's work" and I was determined to keep myself busy.
As those of you who know me well as aware, I've always loved candles. I was a frequent shopper at Bath and Body Works and was always grabbing candles from Target and Walmart. Being home 24/7, I had something constantly burning or warming in my wax melter, instead of my normal 2-3 hours a day. About a week into my so-called "burn fest", I started to notice my lungs felt like they were burning. There was soot residue near where my candles burned and I had constant headaches. Of course, my first instinct was, "oh crap, good ol' 19 has gotten the best of me." However, I started doing research on the things I was burning in my home and, let's just say, I was not only angry, I was fearful.
Fun fact about the candle industry: unlike body care products and food, we are not regulated. No one monitors the ingredients that are used, nor the factuality of what consumers are told is in said products. As many of you may not know, a common ingredient in candles is paraffin wax, which is a known cancer causing agent. Candlemakers who promote candles labeled as "soy blend:, can actually put very little soy wax in a candle, with the bulk being paraffin and no one can do anything about it. Why do they do this you ask? Well, it's simple: money. Soy wax is significantly more expensive than paraffin. Paraffin candles also burn much faster, causing the consumer to purchase more and more candles, not even realizing what they are exposed to.
Another harmful ingredient in candles is the use of fragrance oils that contain phthalates. Phthalates are known to cause reproductive, neurological and developmental issues. The reason some candlemakers use fragrance oils that contain them in their candles is because they can help to expand a scent profile and make the candle's hot throw stronger. A hot throw is what we candlemakers as how far a candle scent travels once a candle has been lit.
Wick transparency is also an issue in candle making. It is easier and albeit, prettier, to use a wick that contains lead. They allow more "play" in candle making and behave better. But, choosing to use a lead wick is a danger to not only humans, but pets as well. Breathing in lead, as well as the lead deposits that are left on a room's surfaces after burning a lead wick candle are extremely toxic. If a consumer burns a lead-wicked candle and has a pet bird, it will eventually kill said bird. Organic, cotton wicks are the safest options for all of God's creatures. They do not leave a toxic residue and are the most dependable and harmless wick on the market.
So why am I sharing all of this with you? To put it very plainly, I genuinely care about the products you bring into your home. If I can educate you on anything, let it be my words above. When I started Island Sham Farmhouse, I wanted to be completely transparent with the ingredients I use. You will never find a drop of paraffin in our wax, a scrap of phthalate in our fragrance oils and all the wicks we use are 100% organic cotton, coated in 100% soy wax. My promise to those of you that purchase from ISFH is that my transparency will continue and buying from us will never mean putting your health, your pet's or your loved one's at risk. When I call you all my "Sham Fam", I mean it. I would never sell you something I wouldn't put in my own home.
Sending love & light,