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Archive for March, 2012

For several years I’ve had a project bubbling away in the background to look at introducing tealight cups which are sturdier for reuse than aluminium cups.  I must admit that being a purist in terms of seeing the flame a candle, I was also looking for something clear to allow the flame to shine in all its glory for the entire burn of the candle.  What joy then to be able to achieve two fabulous outcomes with one innovation!

I am delighted to finally (after lots of research, questions and testing) to be introducing a new range of tealights with clear, sturdy, reusable tealight cups.

Clear tealight cup versus aluminium tealight cup

Clear tealight cup versus aluminium tealight cup

One of the issues on which I spent quite a bit of time was looking at the environmental credentials of these cups.  I must admit that initially I was put off by the idea that polycarbonate is a plastic.  What I found when I researched further is that there are several varieties of polycarbonate – the most expensive of which is the V0 rated polycarbonate meaning that there are zero emissions from the cup when the candle is burning.

Another fact which swayed me was that polycarbonate cups have a much smaller carbon footprint – around 1/9th of the energy is required in their manufacture.  To quote their response when I raised the issue of environmental credentials “In order to mould an aluminium cup the Bauxite used in manufacturing has to be melted at a temperature of 1800 degrees Celsius.  Polycarbonate melts at about 260 degrees Celsius.  That means that to mould an aluminium cup, you require about nine times the amount of energy.”

And then there is the issue of reuse.  As any of you who have reused the aluminium cups would know, they tend to get quite battered around!  The clear cups are significantly thicker and sturdier which makes them significantly better for reuse.  When your tealight has burnt out, simply flick out the metal sustainer that was holding up the wick and insert a tealight refill.  If you think the cup is looking dirty, soapy hot water will clean them up a treat (that tricks holds for any candleholder that may be looking worse for wear).

During testing (over 500 tealight cups worth), there was an occasional (less than 1%) issue with the 9 hour tealight cups slumping on one side.  This is due to the curvature of the self-trimming wicks and the higher melting point of beeswax.  To compensate, we’ve included 12 cups in the 9 hour tealight pack which promises 6.

Both the polycarbonate and aluminium cups are also 100% recyclable.

In short polycarbonate cups stack up quite well:

* their carbon footprint is about 1/9th of that of making aluminium cups
* they are signficantly sturdier and more suitable for reuse
* we use V0 rated cups meaning no emissions during burning

… and, of course, they reflect more light (making them more fit for purpose) and, in my opinion, are more beautiful to use.

With Earth Hour just 1 week away, we are taking 20% off RRP for the 4 new products we have at launch for 48 hours only (until midnight 27th March 2012):

Box of 24 x 8-9 hour beeswax tealight candles with 6 clear reusable cups

Box of 24 x 8-9 hour beeswax tealight candles with 6 clear reusable cups

Would love your thoughts and feedback.

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Occasionally, very occasionally, the life of a beeswax candle-maker candle be quite glamorous… in a sustainable, urine-diverting-toilet kind of way.  So imagine my excitement to be in Melbourne for the closing party of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Greenhouse by Joost and the official launch of by Joost.

The excitement was partially tempered when I realised that I had arrived in Melbourne (the capital of stylishly dressed people) with my full complement of candle-makers shoes: birkenstocks (summer) and blundstones (winter)… and with enormous ocean liners for feet to match my 6ft height, I had to quickly track down a big shoe shop.  Thanks to imaps and Mitch I made it to Glamazon – a haven of shoes for drag queens and queen bees.  Crisis averted… and I now have pretty party shoes/boats for my next birthday party… or event for queens… or planet saving event.

There is little that Joost hasn’t thought of, and that hasn’t been written about, in creating his vision for a sustainable future… and now he has a team behind him to support the creation of that vision.  Good on him.  While he is constantly learning and enquiring and researching and innovating, to turn up to any event by Joost is to catch up with friends of years and in some cases decades.  It is also to catch up with a room full of people all passionate about similar things but all coming at the goal in different ways.  I have to admit that I am pretty chuffed to be making the light for that journey.

Now I need to admire my party shoes, so I’ll leave it to the photo’s to communicate the rest.

xx

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Greenhouse by Joost

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Greenhouse by Joost

Interesting way of clearing the floor for the Melbourne Greenhouse by Joost closing party

Interesting way of clearing the floor for the party

Greenhouse by Joost rooftop with Melbourne skyline

Greenhouse by Joost rooftop with Melbourne skyline

Obligatory bee photograph (real plants on the rooftop = real bees = tickled pink Queen B)

Obligatory bee photograph (real plants on the rooftop = real bees = tickled pink Queen B)

Urine diverting toilet sign at Greenhouse by Joost Melbourne

Urine diverting toilet sign at Greenhouse by Joost Melbourne

 

and, urine diverting toilet @ Greenhouse by Joost Melbourne

and, urine diverting toilet @ Greenhouse by Joost Melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen B by Joost Jam Jar Tealights lighting the stairs

Queen B by Joost Jam Jar Tealights lighting the stairs

and behind the bar at Greenhouse by Joost Melbourne...

and behind the bar...

and in the corner... with my favourite plywood wheelie bin

and in the corner... with my favourite plywood wheelie bin

and the entry at Greenhouse by Joost

and the entry... look at that beautiful honeycomb pattern shining through.

 

Next Saturday is Earth Hour.  Grab your own favourite party shoes, a little Queen B candlelight and create your own Greenhouse!  Here’s a picture of my party shoes so that I can be there in spirit.

Hi Ho Toto

Hi Ho Toto

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Creative, sustainability wunderkind Joost is at it again, most recently with a pop up Greenhouse by Joost for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

It was a collaboration with Joost several years ago which saw the development of our iconic Eco-Bulb candle.  Now, after several months in development, we are excited to lift the lid on Queen B by Joost jam jar tealights.

Excitingly for Queen B having worked on wick testing for several months the candles are now in use lighting the pop-up Greenhouse by Joost in Melbourne CBD and the so-grounded-it-practically-still-grows-on-the-plate food of Greenhouse chef, Matt Stone.

It’s one thing to make the candles, but another entirely to see them working their magic (which is why I LOVE getting photographs)!

Here’s one from my camera of the trays of tealight refills for Joost Jam Jar candles…

Queen B by Joost Jam Jar tealights

Queen B by Joost Jam Jar tealights

and here, one from Joost offsider and clever creative Georgina O’Connor

Queen B by Joost pure beeswax tealights for Greenhouse by Joost at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Queen B by Joost pure beeswax tealights for Greenhouse by Joost at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

But here’s where it gets really good… you know how I’m always saying that Queen B candles only really come to life when lit? (if you don’t, well I do, usually to people who are telling me that they are too beautiful to light!).

So, check this out

"Queen B by Joost" beeswax tealights in Jam Jars - image courtesy of Earl Carter & By Joost

"Queen B by Joost" beeswax tealights in Jam Jars - image courtesy of Earl Carter & By Joost

OK, so that’s pretty but a little like a still life, so here it gets even better (got to love the guy drinking wine from his jam jar!)…

"Queen B by Joost" tealights lighting up Rene Redzepi dinner at Greenhouse by Joost for Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.  Image courtesy of Earl Carter & By Joost

"Queen B by Joost" tealights lighting up Rene Redzepi dinner at Greenhouse by Joost for Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Image courtesy of Earl Carter & By Joost

“But it’s still daylight outside!” I hear you cry!  Well, get this for ambience…

Surely the most ambient restaurant in the world with 100% pure beeswax candlelight (there is no electric lighting in the dining area).  Image courtesy of Earl Carter & by Joost

Surely the most ambient restaurant in the world with 100% pure beeswax candlelight (there is no electric lighting in the dining area). Image courtesy of Earl Carter & by Joost

We’ve also done a bespoke pillar for the reception area.  Stark reminder of beeswax candles requiring lighting here…

Greenhouse by Joost personalised design pure beeswax candle by Queen B.  Image by Queen B!

Greenhouse by Joost personalised design pure beeswax candle by Queen B. Lacklustre image by Queen B!

versus this little beauty…

Fired up Greenhouse by Joost personalised candle from Queen B.  Image courtesy of Georgina O'Connor.

Fired up Greenhouse by Joost personalised candle from Queen B. Image courtesy of Georgina O'Connor.

I rest my case!

Waddya think?


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holderspersonalised candlesvotive candlestealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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It’s a sign of the times that Australians are becoming more socially conscious and focused on value.  I had occasion to give it some thought this week as I pondered Earth Hour. [more on Earth Hour in my next post]

Obviously I am acutely aware that Queen B candles have a higher upfront cost than many of their toxic cousins, and I think that their price is a barrier to purchase.  However, what most people don’t realise is that beeswax candles give you far more bang for your buck when compared to scented soy or paraffin candles.

For the purposes of my research, I looked at Ecoya’s soy wax candles (they are the biggest brand in that category) and Glasshouse’s scented jar candles (the most popular brand in their category).  Looking at their pricing and burn times online, I found that their cost to burn ranges from 50c to 67c per hour.  Based on the information from their websites.  By way of contrast, our larger rolled pillars, solid pillars, tealights and tapers ALL fall within, and mostly BELOW, this cost per hour.  Our 20cm fat honeycomb rolled pillar, for example, is some 20 – 40% cheaper per hour than burning an Ecoya or Glasshouse candle.

And whilst some may like the strong fragrances of these other brands, they are scented in the most part with synthetic, petro-chemical fragrant oils.  While you may think that they are fragrancing your home in a pleasing way, they are doing so in a manner that is toxic to you and your loved ones.  What’s more, most of them come with elaborate, tree-felling packaging made in China or Hong Kong.  And when the candle is finished, their customers typically throw the jar (and residual wax) into the bin to join the mountains of landfill we’re already trying to cope with.

This post is not supposed to be depressing!  It’s actually great news… pure Australian beeswax candles are more affordable than you may have thought.  We may cost a little more up front, but we last longer, perform better and have our own natural, honey aroma-ed scent which is completely non-toxic.  What’s more, they burn beautifully – usually right down to the last drop of beeswax.  Versus say this candle which a customer brought in to show me…

Ecoya soy wax candle

 

The other GREAT news is that when you buy a Queen B pure beeswax candle you are supporting Australian beekeepers, our ISO certified – family owned – Sydney based – environmental printer, our landlord (!) and, of course, the incredibly talented team of artisans at Queen B.

At Queen B, we know that adding candlelight to your home each evening, enhances the quality of your life and we regard it as a privilege to be able to provide that light. By switching more of your purchases towards beeswax candles, you are not just supporting Australian businesses right back to the honey farm, you’re also protecting you and your loved ones.

With love and lots of light,

Cate

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