Bath And Body Works has been the go-to place when it comes to bathing, skincare, and aromatherapy products. More than encouraging people to observe good personal hygiene, Bath And Body Works give them more options on how to improve their way of life. When we talk about vegan and cruelty-free options, however, there are doubts if the retail store offers these options as well.
One of Bath And Body Works’ popular products is their candles. The fragrance of these candles is good aromatherapy as it lifts the mood of everyone in the room. Behind these colorful, scented goods is the sad reality that there are animals harmed in their production.
In this article, we will explain how the candles and other products from this store contribute to the mistreatment of animals, therefore rendering these items off-limits to vegans. You will also learn about vegan alternatives for Bath And Body Works candles.
What Is Bath And Body Works?
Bath And Body Works is under its parent company, L Brands, an American retail giant which holds the biggest bath shop chain in the United States since 1997. This company is tried and tested for manufacturing top-quality bath and body products such as face creams, fragrances, candles, lotions, and shower gels, to name a few.
It goes without saying that L Brands’ shops dominate the market with their collection of bath essentials. In the country, Bath And Body Works remains the brand to beat, in spite of dozens of competitors that have appeared in the last ten years. It also has a good advertisement for its upcoming products, particularly on social media.
Aside from being all-natural and organic, Bath And Body Works products are claimed to be cruelty-free. If we take their word for it, no animals were harmed during the production stage of Bath And Body Works items, including their candle collection.
Unfortunately, there may be no truth in the cruelty-free branding of Bath And Body Works products. For starters, there is uncertainty in the inclusion of non-vegan ingredients in Bath And Body Works candles. However, the most serious concern about Bath And Body Works is the possibility of using animals to test the effectiveness of their products.
What Makes Bath And Body Works Candles Non-Vegan?
Vegans know how to obtain the information that they need to confirm if the item that interests them is vegan-friendly or not. The first step is to check the label and see if animal by-products are used in manufacturing the product. It will also help if the company selling the products claims to be a green and anti-cruelty corporation.
Sadly, you may still need to do more digging to know the truth behind many companies’ claims. Bath And Body Works is one of those brands that use unreliable claims about their products.
Animal Derivatives Present In Candles
If you are shopping for scented candles, the two non-vegan ingredients that you should check on the product label are animal fats and beeswax. These ingredients are used by candle manufacturers to harden the wax and give the candle an opaque appearance.
Animal fat extracted from cows and pigs is often used to harden candle wax. On the other hand, beeswax has become a popular ingredient to make an all-natural candle wax with no synthetic contents. While beeswax is indeed organic and natural, it fails the vegan requirements for the reason of exploiting bee colonies to produce honeycomb.
Unlike food products, candle ingredients are not always indicated on the label. This is why you still have to check the manufacturer’s website or contact them directly to make inquiries if there are animal-derived contents in the candles.
As for Bath And Body Works, their website states that their candles only have three main ingredients, namely vegetable wax, paraffin wax, and soy. Let us examine each ingredient for more context.
- Paraffin wax: Paraffin is a waxy substance extracted from coal, petroleum, shale oil, and wood. It is a flammable crystalline compound that contains hydrocarbons that are needed in the manufacturing of coats and sealants, rubber compounding, and of course, candles.
There is no animal source for paraffin wax, so it is a vegan-approved ingredient. However, one may argue about the environmental consequences of using paraffin.
- Vegetable wax: If the use of paraffin wax is off the table due to environmental concerns, vegetable wax is a great alternative for a vegan-friendly candle ingredient. Vegetable wax is 100% plant-based as it is usually obtained from carnauba, candelilla, and palm.
That being said, not all plant-based elements are automatically considered vegan. As mentioned, vegetable wax can be extracted from palm, but there is a debacle centered on the farming of palm that destroys the natural habitat of orangutans. Therefore, palm-based products are now being scratched off the vegan list.
- Soy wax: Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from soybean oil. Compared to other plant-based wax, soy wax has a softer texture, not to mention that soy is guaranteed vegan.
With only a little caution on the vegetable wax, we can say that the advertised ingredients of Bath And Body Works candles are indeed vegan. Even their website labels their signature collection of candles as vegetable wax candles. Still, we should be on the lookout for possible hidden animal derivatives that are actually in these candles.
Even if no animal by-products are listed in the Bath And Body Works candles’ ingredients, it is worth verifying if the candles contain stearic acid. Many people are not familiar with stearic acid, but it does not sound like something that is derived from animals. However, it is actually a kind of fat found in pigs, cows, and sheep.
The catch here is that there are forms of stearic acid derived from coconuts instead of animals. It is just not always indicated whether the stearic acid used in production is plant-based or not. Some manufacturers would not mind checking the source. Just to be safe, vegans are advised to avoid products with Stearic acid.
Bath And Body Works is said to be a cruelty-free brand. For manufacturers to be called as such, they must adhere to the following requirements:
- The manufacturers must have no ingredients or finished products that use animal testing.
- The manufacturers must have no suppliers that deliver them ingredients that did not require animal testing.
- No third-party agencies that conduct animal testing to prove the efficiency of the products must be employed by the manufacturers.
- Manufacturers should not sell products in countries that require animal testing before human use. Mainland China is one of these countries that has this existing law.
Bath And Body Works has a clear stance on animal testing policy, which is displayed on their website. Their website clearly states that Bath And Body Works does not test any of their products, formulations, or ingredients on animals. Furthermore, all of their products are produced in North America, Europe, and South Korea.
If we will trust them for this pronouncement alone, then we can accept Bath And Body Works’ cruelty-free branding. However, some available facts to the public do not add up to this claim.
For one, even if Bath And Body products are manufactured in North America and Europe, which have no animal testing requirement, what matters is where their products will be distributed. In mainland China, for example, all products being sold in this country are required to have undergone laboratory tests on animals. After the animal testing is done, these products are deemed fit for human consumption in the Chinese market.
As of writing, mainland China still has this law applied for both imported and exported products. Surprisingly, Bath And Body Works is one of the companies based outside China that sell their products in this country. This raises doubts about the accuracy of Bath And Body Works’ cruelty-free branding.
There are no verified reports that show Bath And Body Works products are indeed subjected to animal testing. It is also likely that Bath And Body Works candles and other items sold elsewhere in the world do not have such requirements. However, PETA has already removed the company from its list of vegan and cruelty-free beauty product manufacturers, which says a lot.
Vegan Alternatives To Bath And Body Works Candles
So far, the verdict on Bath And Body Works brand is that it is not vegan-friendly. Even if their candles are known for the great quality of aromatherapy scent, it is time to look for vegan alternatives that offer the same cozy and sweet fragrance.
Luckily for vegans, there is a long list of vegan scented candles that you can try. Most of them are readily available online and are just one click away.
Vegan Candle Co.
Vegan Candle Co. is known for its organic and vegan branding. Their candles are made from non-GMO soy wax. Not only that their ingredients are plant-based, but they are also ethically sourced and processed such that no animals are harmed in the production of their candles. You can choose from a variety of scents like Fireside, Smoky Bourbon, Coastal Pine, and Mandarin Basil.
Brooklyn Candle Studio
Another company that uses all-vegan ingredients in its products, Brooklyn Candle Studio knows exactly what its customers are looking for. No wonder why this store has lots of vegan customers lined up for their soy candles. Brooklyn Candle Studio has luxury candles available in sophisticated yet minimalist design, with fragrance options such as Love Potion, Sunday Morning, Leather Jacket, Maui, and Brooklyn.
NoHo Candle Co.
In NoHo Candle Co., you are not only assured that their items are all vegan-approved. This California-based store is also environmentally-conscious. With the welfare of all animals in mind, NoHo Candle Co. is able to deliver high-quality scented candles made of 100% coconut soy wax. They have interesting fragrance varieties such as Red Currant, Clove Amber, Chestnut Roasting, Tuberose, and Sandalwood Plum.
Bath And Body Works is one of those labels you should check twice to confirm if their products are really vegan and cruelty-free. From our discussion, you are now well-aware of the factors that make a certain product non-vegan.
It is not always about the source of the contents or ingredients that make up a product. We also have to verify if the company selling these products is truly concerned about the welfare of animals.