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Singapore-based Pass It On has created a range of plantable candles; their Kickstarter project exceeded its funding goal by more than five times this month. The 100% soy wax candles come inside a reusable pot and are covered with recycled paper lids infused with wildflower seeds. When the candle is used you can fill the pot with soil, tear up the lid and drop it into the pot, and watch as the wildflowers grow. Pass It On say the range of scented candles are intended to remind users of endangered enivronments. Prices start at SGD 30 (USD 22), with each purchase providing a donation of 10 trees planted by Eden Reforestation Projects.

Pretty neat. And there are some neat takeways, too:

Product reincarnation. We all know that too many products are not designed with an afterlife in mind. Even those that can be recycled often aren’t processed properly. And we all know this needs to change. After all, why shouldn’t a t-shirt be compostable when you’re done wearing it? 

Sure, this candle-that-becomes-a-plant is not going to change the world, but it points the way to a principle that can. As consumers look to practice sustainable shopping (and gifting), how can your product serve a second purpose immediately after use? The easier it is, and the nicer it looks, the better!

Designing with purpose. This candle is an intriguing experiment in using an unexpected design feature – in this case the scent – to convey a certain message. Pass It On chose scents that would remind customers of endangered environments; we’ve also seen  ASMR videos using the sounds experienced by the homeless, a telenovela that highlights environmental crimes in the Amazon, and even a swimsuit covered in real melanoma shaped-spots to raise awareness of skin cancer. It’s important to note that all of these innovations had partnerships with nonprofits to ensure proper research or raise funds. What kind of design touches could add a meaningful message to your offering? Even small elements, when chosen carefully, can have a big impact.


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