Our MADE SAFE Certification - A Q&A with our Founders

Our MADE SAFE Certification - A Q&A with our Founders

If you've been following our company on social media, or receive our emails, you have probably heard us proudly talk about our MADE SAFE® Certification!

The MADE SAFE® seal confirms that a household product is free of any and all toxins known or suspected to harm human health, animals, or ecosystems. Certified goods have been thoroughly examined by researchers and scientists to ensure they’re made without known dangerous chemicals, like:

  • Carcinogens
  • Developmental and behavioral toxins
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Flame retardants
  • Heavy metals
  • Toxic solvents
  • Harmful VOCs

Fontana was the first candle and room spray to have received MADE SAFE® Certification.

We sat down with our Founders, Katie and Eric, to learn why they are so proud of their MADE SAFE® Certified products!

Question: Why did you choose to get third-party certified?

Eric: We really wanted a third party to give a non-biased validation of our nontoxic claims, so that our customers can trust that we’re using ingredients as clean as we say they are. It takes the conflict of interest out of the consumer / marketing relationship so that our customers have transparency into what they’re purchasing. Also, no one had ever done that for candles before! So, we really wanted to be the first to get our candles third-party certified.

Question: How did you choose MADE SAFE®?

Katie: It was actually an easy choice to make because MADE SAFE® was the only certification that wanted to work with a candle company. Traditionally they’ve worked more closely with skincare and other products that are more directly in contact with consumers, but we believe that what you breathe affects your health just as much as your food or skincare products. In my personal opinion, MADE SAFE® is the most stringent of the certifications, with qualifications that can take up to years to achieve. We’ve seen firsthand how strict their guidelines are and have had to reformulate scents multiple times to finally get them certified. 

Question: What was the MADE SAFE® certification process like?

Eric: It took 6 months to complete the process. MADE SAFE® thoroughly examines each ingredient, verifying the purity of the ingredient and ensuring there’s no contamination, as well as working closely with suppliers to look at each of their processes and ingredients. This is also great for us because although we don’t want to disclose our exact essential oil suppliers since that’s as close as we can get to a secret recipe, you can trust they’re as clean as we promise they are because MADE SAFE® evaluated each and every one.

Katie: To give an example of how stringent they are, MADE SAFE® requires verification of 100% of the composition of the ingredients. We had identified a new essential oil that we wanted to use in a product, and the supplier of the oil supplied the composition of 99% of the oil. We pushed them on the remaining 1%. They refused to disclose the information to us. MADE SAFE® suggested that the supplier sign a non-disclosure agreement with them. This made the supplier comfortable enough to disclose the remaining 1%. Because we are not privy to this information because of the NDA, we do not know exactly what was in that oil, but we do know that it did not meet our claims and was not able to be certified by MADE SAFE®. Yes, they did all of this work for 1% of the ingredient!

Question: How do MADE SAFE guidelines make it more difficult to purchase ingredients?

Eric: While MADE SAFE®’s strict guidelines are absolutely positive overall, it does add some difficulty to the procurement and manufacturing process. Because we have to get each of our vendors and ingredients vetted, if there are supply chain issues or delays, we aren’t able to go get that ingredient from anywhere else. This means that our supplier base is severely limited, impacting our price and lead times. This is why we need our customers to be patient and understanding when a product is out of stock! It really is in their best interest!

Question: What is your favorite product (besides Fontana) that is MADE SAFE® certified?

Katie: Although we haven't tried it yet, we've had the Avocado Mattress on our wish list for a while now!

Question: Why should consumers choose MADE SAFE® products?

Katie: Being brand founders, we know the sad truth that it is really easy to have false marketing and make false claims that aren’t exactly true. Because “natural and nontoxic” are non-regulated terms, it’s important to have third party validation to be able to consider something truly nontoxic. Be assured if any of our formulas were to change, we would continue getting recertified with MADE SAFE®.

Eric: One part of company growth that we’ve seen from many small businesses is that as companies grow, they reformulate with cheaper ingredients to shave costs and source ingredients easier. There won’t ever be that kind of surprise with Fontana products - as we get bigger in the future, we’ll always be MADE SAFE® certified!

To learn more about MADE SAFE, please watch our video: