When we say we agonize over the products we choose to use, we mean it. We research until we are bleary eyed and confused, and then we come back another day to research some more. Our end goal is to always use the best ingredients to create the best products - safe for you and your home (the one with the roof AND the one orbiting the sun).
There are plenty of wax choices on the market - and all of them can be called "natural" (after all, crude oil and coal are both natural to our planet), though none are without their drawbacks. We had a difficult decision to make here, and one that we acknowledge may change over time and based on customer feedback.
Paraffin was never an option we gave much consideration to. Yes, paraffin is “natural” in that it is a byproduct of crude oil refinement. You could certainly make the argument that paraffin is a better choice, since it's utilizing something that would otherwise be thrown away. Though given the extraction process, clumsy transportation disasters, and refinement methods of crude oil, it was a no for us.
Palm was out straight away - the clearing of tropical forests and peatlands to make way for more palm plantations is heartbreaking. You may be familiar with this one, since orangutans are the poster children for the impact of palm farming, though countless other creatures large and small are negatively impacted.
There was a brief piquing of interest at the claims of “sustainably sourced palm” until it became clear that greenwashing may be at play here, so no palm wax or palm oil for us. We are keeping a close eye on the progress being made by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and hoping for news we can feel better about.
Soy seemed like the easy, clear winner. And yet. . . some soy falls prey to the same harmful farming practices and deforestation as palm! Surely US grown soy was an option? Yes, and. . . We had serious concerns about how the Big Ag companies of the world not only farm the planet into oblivion, but how they treat their people as well. Cargill is a major soy producer, but we wanted nothing to do with supporting their business practices. We have a dear friend whose family grows soy in Missouri - could we not just get it from them? Well, not quite, but we did manage to find a supplier that sells organic, Midwest grown soy - hallelujah!! (We will just fantasize that it comes from her family farms.)
But wait - coconut wax? What is this exotic creature? Despite my misgivings about food grade paraffin blended in to most coconut wax blends, I was intrigued. Coconut wax is pretty new on the scene, and I couldn’t find much in depth information on how it’s farmed. It shows great promise, and is buttery smooth with great scent throw, so we are keeping an eye out for any news we can find about the supply chain. If you have any validated sources of information, please, drop us a line!
Finally - arguably the most natural wax of all, made by one of nature’s most industrious agricultural groups: beeswax. Beeswax can be tough to work with, it’s expensive, and it doesn’t hold or throw fragrance as well as other types of wax. And what about the treatment of these dear, living creatures putting in all the hard work? As with any large scale agricultural operation, some bees are almost certainly harmed or killed in the procurement of beeswax and honey. We had many discussions about our vegan friends as we came up with all of our product recipes, but ultimately decided that as omnivorous witches ourselves, vegan products were not going to be our main focus. That said many of our products ARE vegan, but we are comfortable using what the Earth provides, as long as we do so thoughtfully and respectfully. Her bounties are too good to ignore! Soothing milks, sustainable silks, and rich hive products all find their way into the mix here at Wood Witch. We’ve yet to find a good application for all this eye of newt however.