Detroit start-up: Vodka bottles find new use as eco-friendly candles

Grey Goose

Now, here’s a candle you can feel good about.

Detroit Wick creator Doug Schwartz created a line of slow-burning soy candles in a stylish used vodka bottle.

The eco-friendly candles also support local programs that teach children about recycling and the environment. Some of the proceeds will help Green Living Science and Bee Green, both of which teach future generations about the importance of the environment.

Ciroc candles
Ciroc candles

“I always wanted to create a cool candle line. Something with creative packaging, a clean burn and amazing smell, but most importantly, tie it in with a way to give back to Detroit,” Schwartz, a Detroit native, said. “The recycling movement is a perfect fit and makes sense.”

The candles burn much longer than paraffin wax and even include soot-free cotton wicks. They range from $34-$55.

Once the candle has burned, don’t throw it out.
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Soy wax comes off with a little soap and water.

Schwartz is using empty bottles of Grey Goose, Ciroc and Kettle One.

“I collect glass liquor bottles, have them professionally cut down and polished,” Schwartz explained. “Then we fill them with a premium 100% soy candle wax.”

Schwartz will create a different scent for each season and plans to offer a holiday candle as well.

The candles are available at Complex, a mega-boutique in Birmingham. A website,, is in the works.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.