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Sustainable Materials Fairly Traded Designed to Last

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About Paper Starlights

“Wherever We Are In The World, A Distant Star In The Sky Brings Us Together”

We are Wholesalers and Retailers, Producers, Distributors and Decorators. We specialise in traditional handmade paper star decorations and have been sharing the light since 1996. We’re a collaboration of 2 family businesses from India and the UK with a story that spans 2 generations and 3 decades of friendship.

Love and Light Since 1996

Illuminating Gatherings

Our trading partnership began in India, nearly 30 years ago. During Diwali, the Festival of Light, we were captivated by the magical effects of the traditional Indian paper lanterns which shone in doorways and community spaces around us. We loved how these colourful festival paper stars transformed a space and brought people together - and how they encapsulated the joy, hospitality and celebration which surrounded us. We wanted to share this experience with as many people as possible, and were soon honoured to find ourselves face to face with the young family who made the stars - who would become our production partners and friends. 

Our first consignment of starlight lanterns arrived in the UK from India in an old aluminium trunk. They were an instant hit at UK music festivals before we embarked on a journey to wholesale them to small indie shops around the UK. We travelled the length and breadth of the country, sleeping in a beat-up Ford Sierra 1.6 GLX Estate - and very quickly the repeat orders were coming in. It seemed people just loved Paper Starlights – and are still loving them today. Now based in the market town of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, our company is still guided by the stars and our paper lanterns sold across the world. 

Our team is a diverse blend of individuals, with unique talents & contributions, coming together to brighten lives with creativity and passion.

Sharing the Light

We are Star Specialists. Our small team of designers and makers spans 3 continents, working together on design, materials, and sustainable product and production development. Since 1996 we have followed the stars and devoted almost 3 decades to the development and distribution of a single product. For us, paper stars are not just a sideline. They are what we do, what we love, and how we define ourselves. We believe in the magic and happiness Paper Starlights bring. And it’s our mission to share it – from the workshop to your home. 

Our World

How we Trade

“Whoever we are, a twinkling star in a clear night sky brings light and comfort”

We want to use trade to improve life and lives.

We practise share trade – trade which is fair, sharing and supportive - and believe quality is the consequence of a fair, creative and collaborative approach. We aim to trade decently from production to point of sale, and to use work and trade to build community and bring people together.

We believe trade is a forum for creative dialogue and collective experience. It’s a creative process which connects, celebrates, inspires - and acts as a catalyst for change. It brings people together in a spirit of fair exchange and has the power to break down barriers between generations, cultures, and demographics.

Our organisation has grown in strength by collaborating throughout our business to explore sustainable, creative and co-operative models of trading. We aim for a business that’s sustainable for everyone involved, and to understand our supply chain as an interdependent, creative community. 

Since 1996 we have traded directly with the artisans in India who create Paper Starlights

Proud Members of BAFTS

As members of BAFTS, we are defined by our commitment to the Ten Principles of Fair Trade as set out by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) 

Paper Starlights are handmade by a small core of artisans and printers based in safe and congenial premises. Homeworkers – members of the family housing colony – chip in during busy periods. The majority of the workers are women, and work patterns are flexible, enabling work to be arranged around family life.

As a partnership, we seek a collaborative approach to product development. And whilst it’s our mission to explore new export markets, we don’t wish to create dependence on the often fluctuating demands of those markets. Instead, our process works towards building production capacity whilst reducing inherent risks.

We pay in advance to cover materials, and we aim to be as fair and decent as we can possibly be with our pricing.

It’s very important to us that Fair Trade extends throughout our entire supply chain. And through our trading activities, we seek to harness the creative power of collaboration, highlighting the nature of co-operation, mutual value and human interaction.

Beautifully Handmade

Story Behind Our Stars

“Older, younger, or somewhere in between - people love Paper Starlights”

Whether used as Christmas lights, a feature lampshade or party decor, Paper Star Lights produce an ambient glow in an array of colours which softens the light, creates a gentle radiance and subtly transforms a space. 

Living and working so close to the beauty of the Peak District National Park, we love the natural environment. We want to create love and light without a dependence on unsustainable materials or environmentally damaging manufacturing processes - so we always use responsibly sourced paper and natural dyes. 

Each starlight is hand screen-printed using a wooden printing frame and plant-based pigments, a traditional process creating unrivalled depth and richness of tone. Colour balancing is performed by eye, and after years of experimentation with multilayering & overprinting, our partnership has refined the screen-printing process to create increasingly complex designs which can’t be reproduced by machine. 

Each paper lantern is hand punched with intricate pin holes to release the light in a myriad of decorative effects, and tissue inserts positioned by hand create an atmospheric stained glass glow. 

Each part of the making process is still performed by hand, making each star unique. And will always begin in the time-honoured way - a hand-drawn sketch.

Our stars have been spreading love and light for almost 30 years

Our Guiding Star

Through the years, we've connected with diverse people worldwide—customers, shop owners, and artisans. At Paper Starlights, we lead in crafting exceptional paper star lanterns and lighting accessories, guided by sustainability, not trends. Our mantra: Quality over quantity.