Twenty Years of Handcrafted Home Décor
In 1993, Aloha Bay opened our first candle factory in Lower Lake, California. At this 10,000 square foot factory, our staff first began crafting candles for the gift market and now the natural health market. Bart Burger, our CEO, has developed a system for candle making that depends on employing as many human hands as possible, rather than relying on fully automated factory systems. This increases the employment rate and makes a significant contribution to living in the lovely, small town of Lower Lake, California.
Sister Solar Factory in Indonesia
While on a business trip to Jakarta in 2001, Bart became acquainted with two Indonesian businessmen, Ong Wen Ping and Prananto Nugroho. The two of them had been close friends for many years and worked for big corporations. Then, while sampling a never ending variety of Indonesian and Chinese dishes, the idea of setting up a candle factory together was born. This Fair Trade factory uses only simple candle making tools developed by Bart and no heavy machinery. In addition, Java is famous for the quality of its crafts people. Wax is heated with solar power. Our belief is that "handmade" means this: more hands, more jobs, less crime and a happy village. We provide year round work for the people in this rural area, where employment for decent pay is scarce.
Aloha Bay is very committed to help farmers, crafts people, and other workers to earn a decent income while maintaining their traditional lifestyles with dignity and hope for their future. In 2012 our sister factory won the social impact award by the European Union's Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI). The CBI identifies inspiring, innovative enterprises that solve problems and provide solutions for society and the environment.
Protecting Ancient Forests, Workers, and Endangered Species
Palm Oil Facts
We have avoided buying palm wax from Indonesian companies which, with their aggressive expansion, threaten parts of the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra and other islands. Ideally, we would like to use the palm oil coming from small, traditional plantations, which have existed around villages for many decades. Unfortunately, up until now, the oil refineries have shown no interest in treating this "eco"-oil with the respect it deserves and have mixed it in with the oils from the big producers. Our solution has been to import the palm wax from well known, environmentally responsible plantations in Malaysia and, in smaller amounts, from certified organic plantations in Brazil and now Colombia.
Perennial organically farmed trees with no yearly tilling of the soil or decrease in biodiversity
Ancient crop: GMO and pesticide free
Less machinery and more rural employment
More oil per acre: 10 times more than soy pesticide intensive GMO soy
REACH is the European Community regulation on chemicals and their safe use that deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemical substances. Aloha Bay's vegetable candle dyes are 100% REACH Compliant. The dyes' shade, consistency, stability and strengths are just as intense, crisp, clear and bright as aniline candle dyes. (Aniline dyes are oil soluble dyes used to dye most candles.) REACH dyes contain none of the 26 listed prohibited aryl amines; no aromatic solvents like toluene, hexane, benzene, and naphtha, phthalates and no petrochemical additives. These dyes are made from plants and minerals in a vegetable based solvent oil with no petroleum solvents and have excellent solubility in all waxes. We are able to use less dye (as little as 0.0125%) to achieve intense and bright colors and also add higher concentrations of pure essential blends.
All our candle ingredients are FDA approved for food contact. All pertinent health and safety information has been provided per the US Code of Federal Regulations. In compliance with the United States Clean Air Act, Aloha Bay candles do not cause any hazardous air pollutants or fumes nor contain ingredients listed as hazardous substances or pollutants. In addition, none of our ingredients are tested on animals. We recommend everyone be just as selective about what they inhale as what they eat.
Aloha Bay started importing Himalayan Salt products from Pakistan in 2004. We work exclusively with a small, family owned company in Mirpur, close to the Himalayan foothills. The owner/manager of that factory, Tariq Khokhar operated the first true decorative and edible salt “factory” there in 2003.
Typically, salt lamps are produced in temporary garage-type workshops, where working conditions leave a lot to be desired. These garage-shops are often set up just to fill a few containers, offering only temporary employment. Quality standards are difficult, if not impossible, to maintain in such an environment. Nowadays, many Pakistani nationals are trying to make a “quick buck” selling low-priced salt lamps from these workshops. They are essentially middle men, not factory owners, brokering deals and paying the very least possible for the product and to their employees.
Tariq staff produces exclusively for Aloha Bay, and a relationship of trust and friendship has developed over the years. In Tariq's factory, employment is year-round. This also guarantees consistent quality, because the sculpting of the lamps is a delicate procedure. Take our tea light holders, for example; they are carefully shaped in a pleasing round design, whereas most of our competition only offers a rough salt rock with a hole.
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