The story behind KunstIndustrien begins in the aftermath of WWII, at the back of an old catholic bookshop in Copenhagen. Besides selling books, it cast wax altar candles at night to sell in the shop the following day, and these are still the company’s signature products.

The original shop in Bredgade was located opposite Kunstindustrimuseet (now the Danish Museum of Art & Design), the inspiration behind the company name. The business changed and developed over several decades until KunstIndustrien closed the shop and became a wholesaler. It has a steadily growing customer base in Denmark and sells its creations worldwide, through high-end shops like interior design boutiques and luxury department stores.

Kunstindustrien: Upcycling and the art of sustainable candle making

Owners Steen and Britta Frost with candles. Photo: Chris Opander Tonnesen

Entrepreneurs Steen and Britta Frost bought the company in 2019 and have since firmly put their mark on the business. With a focus on which natural materials they should be using, from both an ethical and an environmental point of view, they are bringing candles and the process of candle making up to the high ecological standards of the 21st century, particularly with the latest addition, which launched this spring; upcycled olive oil wax candles.

“We use the discarded natural materials left over from olive oil production,” say the owners. Made from 100% residue material from olive presses around the Mediterranean, the range of candles currently comes in five different natural colours, with just a small amount of dye used to create the muted and earthy tones.

Kunstindustrien: Upcycling and the art of sustainable candle making

Production of wax altar candles and olive wax candles. Photo: KunstIndustrien

Reducing impact on the environment

“We aim to be transparent with everything we do and take one step at a time in order to uphold our commitment to being environmentally friendly in every aspect of the business,” Steen explains. This extends to packing materials, with boxes made from recycled paper, packing tape made from recycled plastic, and 100% biodegradable package filling made from corn starch and water.

All the goods are exclusively made from raw materials of the highest quality, which is in line with ensuring that every aspect of the production process is ethical. Facing competition in a market flooded with artefacts that are neither natural nor transparent, KunstIndustrien continues to lead the way in the creative use of residual products and to work towards a more sustainable future, whilst never compromising on the high quality of its designs.

Kunstindustrien: Upcycling and the art of sustainable candle making

Olive wax candles. Photo: Peter Bjerke

Facebook: KunstIndustrien
Instagram: @kunstindustrien

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