All posts by Prosperity Candle

Blogging ethically: our favorite ethical lifestyle blogs

We’re a little bit addicted to lifestyle blogs.

What can we say? We love beautiful interiors, clever ideas for diy projects, and all things lovely. What we love even more is discovering amazing blogs focused on covering ethical brands and providing thoughtful alternatives to traditional purchases. Below are a few of our favorite ethical lifestyle blogs — we’d love to know yours!

Buy Conscious

Bringing you “daily inspiration for conscious living”, Buy Conscious is the passion project of Rose and Julia, two women lending their voices and efforts to making consumers aware of the power of their purchases. Right now, we’re loving their ideas for holiday gifts that keep on giving through Oxfam America’s Unwrapped program. And we were honored to be included in their recent write up of conscious candles!

Ecocult

Based in New York City but reaching far beyond, Alden Wicker’s Ecocult is a great resource for sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives. Showcasing amazing brands doing good, with an eye for highend style and design, Ecocult consistently covers items that end up on our wishlists. With holiday season madness approached, Alden recently wrote a open letter to her family on present-buying . . . a great thought piece and conversation starter for any of us feeling that the over-consumption of Christmas needs to be scaled way back!

Life Style Justice

Hannah’s heart and soul is in social justice — she works with non-profits and for-good businesses, and identifies as a social activist and conscientious consumer. Life Style Justice is her outlet for sharing the many ways she aligns her values with her purchases. Filled with posts on ethical fashion, homemaking, and more, our favorite feature is Life Style Justice’s Ethical Style Files, a gorgeous lookbook of Hannah’s fair trade, thrifted, made in the U.S.A., and otherwise ethical wardrobe.

Let’s Be Fair

Dominique’s internet home was one of our first ethical blog discoveries, so it holds a special place in our hearts! Working from the belief that a “thoughtful  and ethical lifestyle can be stylish, affordable, and fun,” Dominique covers a wide range of topics relating to ethical purchasing — from beauty to ethical good for little ones to how to throw an ethical wedding (her recent post showcasing ethical engagement rings was full of stunning rings that would light up any proposal).

Many Sparrows

Kayla’s goal is to inspire women to find a story worth sharing, and she does so through thoughtful, personal essays on her blog Many Sparrows. From sharing stories of motherhood (her letter to her son Joseph about the joy of being his mother brings tears to our eyes) to reflections on her faith and values, Many Sparrows is an uplifting read time and time again. We were lucky enough to have Kayla share our story with friends at the Influence Conference, and her passion for our work touched us deeply!

Did we miss an ethical lifestyle blog you love? Drop us a comment and let us know!

The making of the Forever Candle

It all starts with the perfect glass.

Our dream of the Forever Candle started with the beauty and symbolism of an egg. The shape came to life through a collaboration with expert glassblowers in Poland: thick walls, a heavy sham, and delicate curves. Every one handblown, our team of artisan candlemakers clean and prepare each glass, carefully affixing cotton wicks by hand.

It all begins with the perfect glass Htoo carefully wicks each glass by hand

When it comes to candlemaking, getting the recipe right is key. We think of it as part chemistry, part art. Fragrance is measured and added to our soy blend wax, mixed and melted by hand. And before candles can be poured, the glasses need to be heated to the right temperature, ensuring a beautiful appearance and candle performance.

Fragrance and wax come together to create the perfect mixture for pouring. Heating the glass to prevent unsightly bubbling

Once the blended wax & fragrance has reached the perfect temperature, the pouring can begin. Each glass is slowly filled, ensuring no spattering of wax on the glass walls. As the wax flows from the pitcher, it begins to solidify almost immediately, transitioning from crystal clear to milky white. It’s beautiful to watch — definitely the part of the process that most feels like magic!

Htoo checks on wax Wax flows from pitcher to Forever Candle glass

Before the wax can cool, wick centering tools are used to hold the wick perfectly straight. To ensure the wax cools correctly, candles are covered while the wax solidifies. Finally, candles are inspected for quality — we often re-melt wax to ensure a lovely, level candle. Designed to burn beautifully, at first and every light.

Wick centering tools keep wicks from sagging Moo Kho checks a Forever Candle for any imperfections

We take pride in every candle we pour, but the Forever Candle is particularly special to us. Every one comes with a lifetime of complimentary refills, for a lifetime of impact — every pour provides living wage work for women artisans building a brighter future after years as refugees.

Shop the Forever Candle

images by Meg Haley of Meg Haley Photography

Prosperity Candle for The Little Market

photo by The Little Market

We’ve long been fans of The Little Market, a beautifully curated online marketplace of ethically sourced handmade goods changing the lives of artisans around the world. (Their mission aligns with the Prosperity Candle mission so perfectly!) And we’re honored to be their very first U.S. partner! We collaborated with them to create an exclusive line of hand poured candles in scents perfect for holiday entertaining (like Pumpkin Pie and Holiday Spice) or any time during the year (like rich, sophisticated Vetiver, a personal favorite).

Head over to The Little Market’s blog for a Q&A with Prosperity Candle founder Ted Barber. And don’t forget to check out our candles in their shop!

photo source: The Little Market instagram

What’s the real environmental impact of a candle?

It’s a question we ask ourselves all the time. As a socially responsible business, we also have a responsibility to our planet. We strive to minimize our environmental impact in every way possible!

Prosperity Candle's ingredients

Soy versus paraffin

At first glance, soy wax or beeswax seem like the obvious raw materials to use when thinking about environmental sustainability. Surprisingly, this is not always the case!

After much research, we have concluded that our custom paraffin-soy blend is the most sustainable choice we can make today. Paraffin is a material that is available regionally in large quantity, so using it means a much lower carbon footprint than with other waxes that must be shipped in.

Paraffin is also a by-product, which if not used would go into the waste stream. We’ve found that most soy wax is sourced from agribusiness, where large amounts of petrochemicals are used in carbon-intensive cultivation methods. Paraffin can actually be a more sustainable option than soy when you compare total environment impacts.

Healthwise, food-quality paraffin burns as cleanly as other high quality waxes. At Prosperity Candle, we use only the highest grade candle waxes with natural cotton wicks (no lead or zinc) for a long-lasting, clean burning candle.

Smoke & soot

It’s an unavoidable fact: all waxes emit some soot. If made and burned correctly (yup, trimming your wick actually matters!), a flame should not emit smoke. And here’s the good news: waxes burn cleanly if they are high quality, highly refined, and the production of the candle is technically correct.

Our candles and fragrances meet the strict California Proposition 65 for indoor air quality, and contain none of the performance enhancers that low-grade, very fragrant candles use.

Production standards

When looking at how ‘green’ a candle is, you have to also consider the environment in which it is made and the candle container.  We are proud to be a certified B-Corp for our environmental and social sustainability practices.  We make our candles in a clean, healthy environment for both our candle artisans and the candles themselves.

In selecting our vessels, we always aim for recycled, recyclable, repurposed and fair trade.  We hate the idea of a candle vessel being thrown out when done, which is why we have a section of our site dedicated to reuse and repurposing, which is many times better than simply recycling.

Moo Kho centering a wick in our production studio

Sustainable business values

Our team consists of locavores in both spirit and practice. We eat produce from New England farms shares, buy local dairy products, and support artisans in our neighborhoods. But we also recognize that not everything we use can be made locally – and that there are people living in distant places who can greatly benefit from trade.

While working to improve the lives of women in places of conflict and disaster, we strive to minimize our carbon footprint wherever possible. We consolidate shipments, select routes with the smallest carbon footprint (we are a strong advocate of ships using wind power to reduce fuel use), minimize packaging and waste, recycle & reuse everything we can, and regularly purchase carbon offsets.

We are committed to tracking and continually reducing Prosperity Candle’s carbon footprint over time.

Have a question about our environmental impact? Get in touch via Twitter or Facebook!

Empower Women

Women Working
Empower women. It’s a powerful statement, a two word sentence that says so much more than the sum of its letters. And it’s what we’re about. What we believe in. Empower women.

Empower women. The women we work with here at Prosperity Candle. They’re new to the United States, refugees from Burma, and in need of support. Not charity, but sustainable economic opportunity. They’re raising families, learning English, acclimating to a new climate and a completely new way of life. For them, empowerment starts small: living wage work in a supportive environment, where time off is readily available, sick kids are welcomed in (one great thing about having a nap-ready couch in our studio!), and candles are made by their hands, designed to share their light with the world.

Empower women. The women our nonprofit sister organization, Prosperity Catalyst, works with in Haiti. They’re moms, they’re daughters, and through their work they’ve become friends. While their budding business is still small, selling locally in the markets of Cap Haitian, their spirit is huge. Each woman pools a portion of the income she makes into a savings fund, and the women regularly distribute that pool to one of its members. This extra piece of income has allowed for small, previously unavailable luxuries like a new haircut or outfit. It’s also allowed for children’s schooling to be paid for upfront. Investing not only in the women entrepreneurs, but in the next generation of women as well.

Empower women. And empower future women . . . empower girls. Show her Wonder Woman. Show her writers, and businesswomen, and teachers, and doctors. The world will show her princesses. Show her Malala Yousafzai, show her Half the Sky, show her the world beyond the tiny boxes, the gender roles she’ll be pushed into. Show her how to consume media messages with a cautious and critical eye. Empower her, show her the world of possibilities that lies ahead of her, and you’ve made a mighty investment into a brighter future for us all.

Easy Ways to Celebrate Day of the Girl 2013

A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult.
source: The World Bank

source: Day of the Girl

source: Day of the Girl

This Friday marks the second ever International Day of the Girl Child, a day dedicated to advancing the rights of girls around the world. As it says on the official Day of the Girl site, Day of the Girl is “bigger than one issue, one organization, one country, and even the day itself. It is a yearly reflection of what we’ve done and what we need to keep doing to fully achieve gender equality everywhere.”

There are so many ways to take part in International Day of the Girl. It’s all about getting involved, and that means everything from raising your own awareness to sharing the day’s mission with others to supporting related causes.

For example, you can donate to great educations supporting girls education, like She’s the First. You can purchase products made by women, or designed to support women and girls, like our A Brighter Future gift set, which donates to the Malala Fund.

You can follow the International Day of the Girl hashtag on twitter to take part in the global conversation, and like the Day of the Girl facebook page for updates.

And there’s tons of great, shareable media out there. Below are a few of the videos and essays we’ve enjoyed this week — from a round up of girls who are dreaming big to a brief, heart-warming video featuring pop star Katy Perry!

  1. 8 Girls Who Dream Big For International Day of the Girl 2013 on the Huffington Post
  2. 10 Facts You Don’t Know About Girls Education on ABC News
  3. Women as a Force for Change by Nicholas Kristof
  4. Watch Katy Perry ‘Roar’ with Unicef for International Day of the Girl
  5. Anne T. Donahue reflects on undervaluing education & remembering its importance
  6. Watch Jon Stewart’s full interview with Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show: part 1, part 2, & part 3.

What have you been reading and watching in honor of Day of the Girl? We’d love to know — please share with us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

Planning a Party? Give Party Favors That Give Back

Hosting a bridal or baby shower can be a major responsibility. Not only does the day need to be memorable for the bride or mom-to-be, but for her family, friends and coworkers as well.

While it may be impossible to plan an event that will fit every guest’s taste, one party favor that is always well received is a candle from Prosperity Candle Scent Sampler Sets. Each sample set comes with four sample size candles in a variety of scents which can be given out as party favors or in goodie bags to each of your guests. Be sure to include a note or one of our story cards to let her know exactly where her candle came from.

Many of our customers have been raving about how their guests have enjoyed our sample candles at their recent events. Robin C. wrote,

“These candles are perfect for giving as hostess gifts! My mission is to share them with all of my friends, knowing that they too will love them enough to visit your website and order products to share with their friends and family! I think this is a great way to spread the word of the hard work and determination of the amazing women working at Prosperity!”

Another customer, Jeanne C., was charged with planning a wedding shower for dozens of guests. She wrote to us about her experience giving our sample candles:

“I am so happy I saw the story about your endeavors in the Boston Globe that Saturday morning. The candles made for perfect small gifts and the plan is we will burn each candle where ever we may be on the day our co-worker is married, Thanks for being part of our beautiful Wedding Shower!”

Whether you decide to include Prosperity Candle Scent Sampler Candles as take home gifts or hand them out early in the event to allow for scent swapping and sharing, the candles and the mission behind them will bring an extra special meaning to the day.

What better way is there to celebrate a bridal or maternal event than by giving a gift that helps to support strong women making a difference around the world?

Saying goodbye to over half of our candles & gifts

It’s been a summer of change at Prosperity Candle. We’ve been asking for your feedback as we have a series of conversations about the candles and gifts we sell. About bigger things involving the messaging and the best way to make an impact in the world.

Change is ahead, and we’re excited. We hope you are, too!

Which is why our summer sale is bigger than ever: 60% off over 60 gifts.

There’s a lot to see, so I’ve picked out six personal favorites to get you started.

A Good Long Soak A Good Long Soak
was $48
now $19.20
Franjipani Tea Tin Franjipani Tea Tin
was $27
now $10.80
Colors of Change Votive Set Colors of Change Votive Set
was $38
now $15.20
Global Girlfriend State of Mind Global Girlfriend State of Mind
was $38
now $15.20
Haitian Beeswax Pinecone Duo Haitian Beeswax Pinecone Duo
was $10
now $4
Soothing Bath Soothing Bath Gift Set
was $28
now $11.20

Why we’re honoring the Women’s Refugee Commission this World Refugee Day

With World Refugee Day just around the corner, Prosperity Candle will be celebrating the refugees close to our hearts and others around the world. Every Prosperity Candle is a vehicle for change, helping to lift Burmese women refugees out of poverty. And now through June 30th, every candle also benefits refugees around the world as well!

Prosperity Candle is proud to be partnering with the Women’s Refugee Commission and will be donating 5% of all gifts purchased through June 30th to the Women’s Refugee Commission to assist them in carrying out their work.

The Women’s Refugee Commission’s mission is to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. The commission researches their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice.

Moo Kho and Naw, working at Prosperity Candle

Moo Kho and Naw, working at Prosperity Candle

For twenty years the Women’s Refugee Commission has been devoted to identifying critical problems that affect displaced women, children and young people, documenting best practices and proposing solutions for improved humanitarian assistance. The commission is dedicated to improving refugee policy and practice until measurable long-term change is realized.

Prosperity Candle is pleased to assist the Commission in striving for a future in which refugees and internally displaced women, children and youth are safe, healthy and self-reliant, and have their human rights respected and protected.

Make a greater impact with every gift you give this month, lending a hand to refugees all over the world!


Shop now to empower women refugees

Why We’re Much More Than a Candle

To tell you a little more about what Prosperity Candle is all about, we’ve put together a list of 7 things that make a Prosperity Candle a unique gift.

1) Each candle helps a woman rebuild her life.

We work with women who are from distressed parts of the world who have survived conflict or natural disaster. They are now getting their feet on their ground and rebuilding their lives.

The women we work with come from (or work in) Burma, Haiti, and Iraq. Beyond the candle makers we work with, we also source vessels and gifts from women around the world, including Morocco, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Vietnam, Rwanda, and more.

Each candle we sell helps give them more security and income. The money they earn through Prosperity Candle helps them invest in education, health care and food for their children. No matter which country the women come from, they have a universal dream of giving their children a better future.

Truly a gift that gives back, to you, to the women who make them, and to the future of our world.

 
 
2) You can connect directly with the woman who made it.
 

Every one of our candles includes the name of the woman who made it so you can connect directly with her on our website. Under our “Connect” page you can read her bio, see her picture and send her a message directly.

We’re talking about a global connection here. And the knowledge that you are playing a part in helping a woman rebuild her life!
 
 
 
3) We partner with amazing organizations to bring you unique gifts that do good.
 

We could focus only on candles and stop there. But why do that when there are so many good causes in the world to team up with? We collaborate with fair trade and socially conscious organizations like Equal Exchange, Numi Tea, Beeline, Divine Chocolate, SERRV International and Arghand to bring you chocolate, coffee, tea, baskets and beauty products. These products are paired with our candles for gifts that are unique and give back two, three or more times!

Why stop with a gift that give back only once, when it can give back to several organizations, making a difference for people all around the world?
 
 
4) We donate to good causes.
 

We have partnered with respected organizations like Women for Women International, World Pulse, UMCOR, and Oxfam America to offer charitable gifts to support their causes. We believe deeply in their work and want to support it, so we have created unique gift sets that include messaging about their mission or products from the countries where they work.

Shopping for a cause has never looked better!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5) We are committed to crafting high quality gifts.
 

We test our products and those of our partners like crazy. Candles get packed up in boxes and rattled to ensure that they will ensure shipping. We do temperature and burn tests to make sure that they will be long-lasting and clean burning. We invest in all-cotton wicks and clean-burning wax.

We know a lot of people think that buying a gift that does good is not going to result in a high quality gift. We would like to prove that belief wrong!

Our candles are long-lasting and burn beautifully.
 
 
6) We keep bringing you fresh products!
 

Our gifts are all handmade and come from the far reaches of the globe. We want our products to reflect this, so we are always thinking outside the box about what we can do. What can we pour a candle into? An old coffee can? A repurposed glass soda bottle? An ethically sourced soapstone bowl? A Moroccan glass with bold patterns? You bet!

Stay with us. We’ll keep surprising and delighting you!
 
 
 
 
7) Your gifts will stand out from the crowd.
 

Looking for something new and exciting for a loved one in your life? A unique social mission and story of impact?

Honor a loved one with a gift with a great story that gives back many times. Your Mom, girlfriend, sister, college friend or colleague will love you for it. Just check out our product reviews!

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