Shrine Creates Inventive Candles In Equally Unique Mushroom-Based Packaging

by Rudy Sanchez on 04/15/2020 | 3 Minute Read

Is it possible for a candle to have a vibe? 

Sure, there is plenty of scented wax out there designed to invoke particular moods around locales, seasons, and specific smells, but what if the ambiance you seek includes a bit of chic, a dose of eccentricity, and more than a dash of sustainability? Los Angeles-based Shrine goes beyond the usual warm cookies, pine trees, and lavender candles, hand-pouring unique, non-seasonal candles for an atmosphere on the cool side of weird.

Shrine is a premium and artisanal candle brand that makes high-concept smelling candles using sustainable materials and compostable packaging made from fungus. “Topiary,” for example, is meant to smell like green, made visually evident by the bright and verdant color of the wax, with a scent described as “fresh, leafy, and crisp with a hint of floral.” “Monogram” is a less abstract fragrance, with a classic and luxurious scent that is accented by Italian leather with a Renaissance-themed label. The limited-edition pillar matchbooks follow a similar Renaissance look.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Cofounders Sasha Bettencourt and Dina Mussano didn’t just set about to create great smelling candles, but they also looked for ways to sustainably and cleanly produce them. The apricot and coconut oil blend used to make the candles creates less particulate smoke than typical waxes, and the wicks are free of both zinc and lead. The glass jars are easily repurposed or recycled, and the candles come in compostable fungus-based packaging from Ecovative, which protects the glass jars.

“We love that we are able to utilize innovative and sustainable materials in a way that really feels true to the brand," says Dina. "The mushroom packaging has such a cool, sculptural vibe to it. We love that we were able to mold it into our signature arch shape and have it not only uniquely showcase the candles but also look like a sculptural piece all on its own."

Ecovative’s mycelium-based packaging structure is completely organic and can be “grown” into almost any shape, making it as versatile as material as styrofoam, just without the damage and pollution that comes from using a conventional synthetic material.

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Often, eco-friendly materials are out of reach or too costly for a smaller company or start-up, and Shrine looked around for a material that stayed true to their desire to be sustainable while also practical and reasonably priced.

“We considered a lot of other sustainable materials in the process of designing our packaging," Dina added. "The issue that kept coming up was that most of the innovative and sustainable materials we found were not accessible, affordable, or were still very conceptual. Ecovative has been awesome because they have the innovation, team, and capabilities to back it up. Also, we just love the concept of the mushroom packaging. As soon as we found it, we knew it was perfect for Shrine.”

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Bettencourt and Mussano continue to look for ways to improve the sustainability of both their candles and packaging. For them, the mushroom-based and plastic-free packaging, as well as recycled or recyclable shipping materials, are merely a starting point for the brand.

Editorial photograph

“Right now, we are in the process of transitioning other elements of our packaging to more sustainable materials," Dina says. "We are working with dissolvable paper stocks and new compostable labels for upcoming product releases. The mushroom arch packaging is just the beginning for us.”

Shrine candles are available directly from ShopShrine.com.

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