photo credit: Stockmar.de
In Stockmar's Words:
Why Stockmar Wax Crayons contain 10% beeswax – no more and no less.
Stockmar wax crayons contain 10% natural beeswax, which provides the right degree of transparency and gives off a pleasant beeswax scent. In addition, the essential oils in beeswax have a preserving effect, enabling us to completely abstain from using preservatives in our wax crayons. A proportion of beeswax in wax crayons that is appreciably higher than 10% would have a negative impact on colouring quality. Too little colour would be produced and the actual colour of the beeswax would distort the colour shades. As a consequence, the use of a higher proportion is not necessary.
Beeswax has advertising appeal: it’s natural, ‘renewable’, smells good and everyone admires and loves bees. Beeswax – what kind of substance is it exactly? It is a precious and limited natural product. In the interests of bees, whose numbers are under threat worldwide, any use of beeswax should be acutely conscious, measured and responsible. Any beekeeping geared towards increasing beeswax production would not constitute natural beekeeping and would have ominous consequences from an ecological perspective.
Why use more beeswax in our crayons if it wouldn’t enhance the product quality and would only unnecessarily consume a precious natural product? That is precisely why Stockmar consciously uses 10% beeswax for its wax crayons.
Stockmar has partnered for years with www.mellifera.de Visit this site for more information on stewardship of beeswax and protection of bees.
Why Stockmar uses paraffin (microcrystalline wax) in its wax crayons
Paraffin is broadly used due to its non-toxicity and water insolubility. It is often contained in ointments, skin creams and lip balms, and is even a principle component in many skin protection creams for small children. Paraffin is also used in foodstuffs (sweets, chewing gum, wax coatings for cheese) and in medical applications (as an antidote for poison and as a laxative). The possibility of deposition in the human body only exists in the case of constant intake of the substance. A constant intake is highly unlikely in the case of wax crayons.
According to expert opinion, however, the detrimental effect to health in the case of paraffin does not stem from any potential deposition, but through heating to high temperatures as this could release carcinogenic substances. Accordingly, hazards to health relate to people whose work, for example, involves heating paraffin for long periods and who breathe in the resulting vapours; which naturally does not apply to consumers of cosmetics, medication and wax crayons.
For Stockmar wax crayons, they use paraffin (microcrystalline waxes) with a high melting point, that is they first melt at a temperature of around 70 °C (158 °F). Can this happen with children’s wax crayons or even wax crayons that have been swallowed by kids? 70 °C? No. The paraffin in Stockmar wax crayons have an extremely positive impact on colouring quality. In contrast to chalky fillers, they don’t dull the colours, but rather maintain the transparency and colour intensity. Paraffin is produced as a by-product in oil refineries and, as a crude oil product, is naturally not a renewable resource. Nevertheless, we currently have no viable alternative to paraffin that would be resource-conserving and ecologically friendly and at the same time maintain the colouring quality of the product to the extent of the high melting paraffin we use.
Other frequently used resources that are eagerly touted as renewable, such as soy and palm oil, do not produce the same product quality and in our opinion are not ecologically friendly. As a result of the increase in global demand, they lead to the creation of monocultures, in turn prompting the clearing of rainforests and disappearance of areas used for agriculture, with all the resulting negative ecological and social consequences.
How does Stockmar compare as a working material?
Stockmar crayons are known for the following characteristics:
- typically less breakage than other brands --> greater cost savings
- long lasting --> greater cost savings
- colours based on Goethe's colour wheel. In Stockmar's words: "Based on an understanding of the effect colors and artistic creation have, we develop products that promote the artistic experience while appealing to all the senses."
- safety of ingredients: Stockmar products are regularly inspected by an independent laboratory in Germany for residue analysis.
- In Stockmar's words: "STOCKMAR products are known around the world for their quality, and we aim to live up to our reputation all along the value chain—from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of the finished products. We don’t just surpass material quality standards and have all of our batches inspected by independent laboratories, we also continuously review and refine the subjective quality and artistic utility of our products."
From the Stockmar.de website: "What does the economy of the future look like? STOCKMAR does not operate according to profit and growth, but instead with the ambition to fulfill a purpose and to promote humane development not just through our products, but also through our business activities. As with all Neuguss Group companies, STOCKMAR’s profits are put to use in a way that benefits society. For economic, social and educational sustainability."
As a company, Stockmar also follows the sheltered workshop model seen throughout Europe that operates as an initiative more for social inclusion than for profit: "Inclusion matters to us, so we have a portion of our products assembled in communities for people with disabilities."
Stockmar takes on responsibility for 'Quality as an Employer'. In their words:
"As with our business itself, we take a holistic approach to our standard of quality as well. STOCKMAR employees are incorporated into the various stages of production with all of the unique requirements they entail from start to finish, and are therefore critical to our quality control. But their involvement goes well beyond the production process. They also receive a share of the company’s profits. We don’t just strive to provide an ideal work–life balance, but also to put our ideas into practice for the greater good."
"STOCKMAR quality standards apply to all of our suppliers as well, not just in terms of raw materials, but also all aspects of their business and social activities. These quality standards are based on reciprocity throughout our entire partner network. We maintain constant dialog to develop new, improved products together. This enables us to live up to our quality standards and move forward as a company."
For much richer information than this, please check out Stockmar's Sinne.Formen brochure which they regularly produce: