The Recycled Candle Company is the UK’s only candle recycling business. The premise of the business is to create beautiful candles from scrap wax, helping the environment and enabling people and businesses to meet their eco-friendly aims.
Based in Gandy Street in the heart of Exeter’s indie shopping district, the company was founded by Richard Hills-Ingyon and Sargon Latchin in 2016.
“The concept is simple,” explains Richard. “Wax from used candles is melted down, filtered, dyed and scented to create beautiful new candles. As far as we know, we’re the only company providing this opportunity for recycling candle wax in the UK, if not the world.”
Richard grew up in Sidbury and his interest in candle making started at an early age. He was just seven when his parents gave him a kit to keep him busy on rainy days. At first the candle making was a hobby, but over time it became Richard’s passion and he became intrigued by the idea of reusing old wax by melting it down and purifying it.
When Richard met architect Sargon, they formulated the idea for The Recycled Candle Company, opening their first shop in Ottery St Mary, East Devon in 2017. Sargon says, “We spent some time devising techniques that would enable us to reuse wax on a large scale whilst ensuring the end product was of the highest quality.”
They then found a UK-based French perfumer willing to design their bespoke fragrances; Sargon says they are fortunate to be one of a very few small businesses the company will work with.
Once they’d perfected the techniques, they started attending trade shows across the country, bringing them to the notice of organisations such as the Eden Project, National Trust and Adam Henson’s Cotswolds Farm Park, all keen to sell the products in their own shops. Big name customers encompass Selfridges, Fenwick, KT Tunstall and blogger Buella. The company also started selling online via their website.
As interest grew, so did the need for expansion and in June 2019, the pair relocated the shop to larger premises in Exeter, giving them more space to make and display the growing range of candles, and also to run their popular candle making workshops.
The used wax comes from a variety of sources including individuals who drop old candles directly to the shop, hotels and restaurants, along with religious institutions including Bath Abbey which recently added a collection point not just for its own candles but for its congregation and visitors to use, too. The Recycled Candle Company organises a pick-up service for larger donations like this.
As a reward, discount on future purchases are available for those donating their used candles, which can include any style, perfumed or unperfumed, from pillar candles to glass jars and tealights. Richard says, “We’re frequently asked about the metal part of tealights – what happens is we shred them and extract all the wax to reuse so they’re recyclable by Zero to Landfill, the waste company we work with.”
The Recycled Candle Company uses the hashtag #candleamnesty which reflects the ethos to reduce waste and encourage guilt-free shopping. At the moment between 300 and 400kg of wax is reused each month, keeping old candles from being discarded into landfill.
As everyone looks for more ways of reusing and recycling rather than throwing away, The Recycled Candle Company is providing a unique solution for the candles that we all love to enjoy.
You can find out ore about the Recycled Candle Compnay here therecycledcandlecompany.co.uk