12.11.2020 I An interview conducted by Dorothea Meyer I Pictures: Richard Wenzel GmbH, Unsplash
With PURE Candle, the Wenzel company offers an opportunity to purchase sustainable candles made from rapeseed or olive wax. The raw materials for the manufacture of the candles are exclusively from Europe.
In an interview with Jürgen Jaksch from WENZEL, you can find out why the conscious decision not to use candles made of paraffins, where you can buy sustainable candles from WENZEL and how you can recognize more sustainable candles.
Jürgen, what exactly does the WENZEL company do?
The family-run company Wenzel has been producing candles in Aschaffenburg since 1899. 100% Made in Germany
We have decided to only produce in Aschaffenburg because on the one hand we will have full quality control for all our products and on the other hand we will minimize the transport routes
We produce and supply candles for garden centers, wholesalers, larger customers and for the religious sector in Germany and Europe.
With PURE Candle you offer sustainable candles. What exactly makes your candles more sustainable than the competition?
With our PURE Candle, we deliberately refrain from using palm oil and soy wax, i.e. raw materials for which the rainforest is cleared. We use sustainable raw materials grown almost exclusively in Europe.
In this way, we not only protect the rainforest, but also reduce overall transport emissions.
Further information can be found on the website www.pure-candle.de
Why are paraffin candles unsustainable and how does it affect the environment?
Paraffin occurs in crude oil and has to be filtered out of the crude oil for processing into fuel. The paraffin obtained is then cleaned several times and used in various areas such as candles, cosmetics, the food industry or medicine. We only use qualities that have the FDA food standard.
In the meantime, however, paraffin is also obtained from natural gas and there are even the first positive results for paraffin from renewable raw materials.
As long as petroleum is used, there will be paraffin too. Either you burn or dispose of the paraffin or you use it in high-quality products such as candles or cosmetics.
At WENZEL there is currently a large range of candles made from paraffins. For what reason are you still selling the unsustainable alternative and are you planning to convert your offer completely to sustainability in the long term?
Paraffin is currently still one of our main raw materials, as it is still available in large quantities. But our need for alternatives is increasing by leaps and bounds.
The production facilities have to be converted for this, however, and we are currently investing in new facilities in order to be able to convert.
The demand for renewable raw materials is growing strongly, especially in Germany. Therefore we will continuously expand our offer.
We currently offer the most variable range of candles and lights made from renewable raw materials to meet the needs of our customers.
For thick candles, for taper candles, for tapered candles, for candles for Advent wreaths, for candles that are wired on, candles made of natural wax are not yet suitable because the candles would burst or it is technically not yet producible.
In addition to the material, the charring quality also always determines the composition of the wax mixture. The wealth of experience with paraffin candles is much greater with all candle manufacturers and suppliers than with sustainable candles. Here each harvest can lead to different results.
As a customer-oriented company, we try to meet the requirements of our international customers. That is why we will certainly still be offering candles made of paraffin in the next few years.
Since we operate internationally and the topic of sustainability is also seen in a more differentiated manner in other countries, our customers and the market naturally determine our offer to a certain extent.
Which oils and waxes are sustainable candles made of and what makes these ingredients more resource-efficient?
Sustainable candles are made from waxes or fats of vegetable or animal origin.
Vegetable raw materials are e.g. palm oil, soy, rapeseed, coconut, olive, animal origin are e.g. fats, fish bones
Vegetable raw materials are also food, while animal raw materials are sustainable waste. Animal products are also considered renewable and sustainable. Waxes of animal origin, for example, have by far the lowest CO2 emissions of all waxes that can be processed for candles and are at the top of the sustainability list, especially in Scandinavia.
In our opinion, the olive wax is the most sustainable wax. It arises from a herbal product that cannot be used as a food. In the pressed flesh of the olive there are still hydrogenated fats that cannot be processed into oil. This is actually a waste product that can then be used to produce high-quality candles.
We use this stearin in our Pure Olive Wax candles. Thus the last remnant of a fruit is used.
There are many approaches, ideas and possibilities in sustainability. Here, too, each individual forms his or her own opinion. The variety of options allows for an alternative for every point of view.
That is why we offer a differentiated range of sustainable candles
Do your sustainable candles differ in price from the conventional candle range from WENZEL and if so, why?
Sustainable candles are more expensive than paraffin candles. This is partly due to the raw material, but also to the production methods, which are more complex. Candles made from renewable raw materials are also heavier than paraffin candles because the density of the material is higher.
Where can both retailers and end consumers buy your sustainable candles?
Dealers can buy these products from florists’ wholesalers or from us. E.g. at Depot, Rossmann, drugstore Müller, in garden centers or in the Wenzel Shop on Amazon
So far, your range of sustainable candles is still quite small. Are there any more PURE Candle candles that your customers can look forward to?
Of course, we are expanding this program for 2021 and 2022 and are about to be ready for the market for a tealight cover that is fully compostable and does not contain bioplastics.