Izabella Miko: We have so many different plans, like an EkoMiko school bus that will be traveling around the country and greening schools—all that stuff that I really want to do. So I was trying to raise money for the Foundation and I came up with an eco-candle line.
The candle is made out of coconut wax, something that you can actually put on your skin, and we came up with two different natural scents—Eko Hero and Eko Heroine. I really wanted to make this candle sexy so it’s a product that’s green but oozes sensuality.
It’s a recycled wine bottle that’s been cut in half and all the inserts are made out of stone paper using no water or trees, and the boxes is biodegradable with seeds in it so you can plant it. The wick is wooden; it crackles when it burns. I really made sure that every single element of the candle is as green as possible. Even the companies that we use, one is wind-powered and one has a zero carbon footprint.
Every candle is hand poured. Every single candle I touch with my own hands because I’m so detail oriented—you know, if it was too frosted I was there rubbing it with olive oil. The presentation has to be beautiful because it’s a luxury candle line. I’m really proud of it. It’s doing really well and all the proceeds go to the Foundation, I’m not making any money from it. It’s the first EkoMiko product but we have a jewelry line and a bag line that will come out this year.
ES: Did going green in your production mean the costs were higher? Why was that worth it to you?
IM: At this point, I invested my own money into it. It’s the same with the Foundation, it’s coming out of my own pocket because I really believe in being a responsible citizen of this planet. I grew up in the environment where my mom said that half of the day you should spend on yourself, and the other half on somebody else or the planet. So my friends laugh—when I make money instead of going on a vacation I’m like, “Oh great! Let me put more money into EcoMiko!”
But it’s hard when it’s an eco-production, it’s really, really hard—which is what I found out. When you’re using eco-ingredients it gets more expensive. I wish it were different because then it would be accessible to everyone.
ES: At EcoStiletto, we’re of the philosophy that as we inspire the demand, the supply gets bigger and prices go down. It sounds like you are, too!