In our Brand Story Hero series, we shine a regular spotlight on different brands that we think tell their story well. Here we take a look at Keap Candles, the sustainable scented candle company.
Brand: Keap Candles
Founders: Harry Doull and Stephen Tracy
Year Founded: 2015
Mission: “Keap’s mission is to restore the balance and connection between humanity and the natural world, through products that speak to the soul.”
Keap’s story was born from a simple question– why was it so hard to buy a high-quality candle that is also sustainable? For the Keap founders, candles were their favourite way to unwind from the chaos of New York City. However, the duo never found one that smelled great, looked great or was good for the planet.
Harry and Stephen then proceeded to take perfumery classes and found plenty of opportunities to make a better candle. After much hard work, the pair designed a one-of-a-kind candle. From this, their business grew to provide candles which are masterfully perfumed with nature-inspired scents and virtually zero-waste. Furthermore, they also established a range of candles that shed a light on communities that need it most through their Igniting Solar Impact campaign. Keap Candles share 25% of their net-profits with SolarAid, an international charity that combats poverty and climate change. Additionally, the pair also share their professional services and employee time to help the impact of SolarAid.
How do they use storytelling?
Keap uses a storytelling approach to make their existing and prospective customers aware of the issues concerning sustainability and the environment. Their story narrates some of these issues and how people can begin to take steps towards remedying the problem. By using a storytelling approach, Keap Candles can resonate their environmental concerns with their customers on a more personal level. Furthermore, Keap uses storytelling to mobilise their customers to help in creating lasting benefits for the planet and its inhabitants.
Using stories to promote environmentally conscientious consumers
Keap’s mission is to restore the balance and connection between humanity and the natural world, through products that speak to the soul. Climate change is a growing concern for not only Keap but all of humanity. In their story they state:
“We have reached the edge of our planet’s availability to provide for us. Our climate is at a critical tipping point. Reducing how much we consume is perhaps impossible, and definitely uninspiring. But there is an exciting alternative that taps into our natural, human instinct to express ourselves and solve problems.”
Nonetheless, they are emphatically optimistic about what the future holds. Through their storytelling, they have inspired many people to invest in more environmentally friendly and sustainable products. With this motivation, Keap has committed themselves to build a story that empowers their business values with a regenerative, net-benefit vision at its core. Keap does so through the following four steps.
#1: Restore balance with nature
Keap candles describe themselves as a laboratory for the regenerative economy. Their long term goal is to have a 100% regenerative supply chain for all materials, and zero waste across everything that they do. Keap’s current focus is ensuring that all their product packaging contains zero waste. They encourage their customers to reuse the candle jars and reuse or recycle any packaging their products come delivered in.
#2: Advocate for solutions to the environmental crisis
Another long-term goal Keap is currently maintaining involves their dedication to helping the U.S. become a leader of planetary regeneration through collective organising and advocacy with like-minded businesses. Keap is a proudly certified B corporation and they are also members of 1% for the Planet and Climate Collaborative.
#3: Inspiring their community to nurture an inner connection to wildness and the natural world
Keap celebrates nature by helping their community to rediscover the beauty of our natural systems and to reignite their desire to protect them. Through Keap’s Ignite story series, they bring their scents to life through original art and storytelling. This series showcases a number of stories based on the traditions behind some of the natural ingredients and scents they infuse into their candles. You can check them out here.
#4: Keap reflect their values of love, openness and activism both locally and internationally
Keap’s storytelling approach effectively emulates their strong internal values and commitment to making the world a better place. They infuse love into everything that they do. Keap encourages their consumers to do the same and to give more love to the environment in any way that they can.
How else do Keap help the planet?
According to Keap, “Nature works in regenerative cycles, with each participant giving back more than it takes”. This idea empowers their view to removing all waste from their business. Keap does so with their zero-waste approach. As we know, materials which bio-degrade are useful for creating a regenerative and healthier environment. All of Keap’s products are made of biodegradable materials which can be easily put into the compost bin after use. Furthermore, their candle holders can also be repurposed as drinking glasses or decorative containers depending on your taste. If you decide not to repurpose the glass, you can send it back to the company free of charge to prevent it from going to landfill.