Cable and Cotton

This post is sponsored by Cable and Cotton, in celebration of their USA launch! I received a set of lights to review and was compensated for my time. I'm honored to tell the story of this great brand, and thankful for Cable and Cotton's support of Life+Style+Justice!

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I always like writing about more unusual ethically made products. There is such an abundance of information on where to buy ethically made clothes, nowadays, but what about the other things we buy for our homes and lifestyles? Sneakers, kitchen spatulas, furniture, Christmas lights (or “fairy lights” depending on what part of the world you’re in)?

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When I learned about Cable and Cotton, I was intrigued. Cable and Cotton has been employing women in rural Thailand since 2009 to create their unique decorative lighting products- which consist of LED fairy lights shining through colorful handcrafted cotton balls.

I spoke with the team at Cable and Cotton to learn a bit more about how their operation is set up. I was impressed to learn that the company guarantees year-round income for their workers (unlike many fair trade cooperatives where artisans only get paid regularly if there is enough demand/overseas orders for their goods), and has an insurance policy of sorts set up to make sure that workers receive payment even if they are unable to work for a period of time. 

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Cable and Cotton is set up with the help of the Thai government’s project OTOP, designed to support small sustainable business projects in rural Thailand. In an area of the country where the legal wage is only 300 baht/day, Cable and Cotton pays well beyond that figure, with a commitment to employ an entire community of artisan women through their sales.

Workers get “a larger piece of the pie” when it comes to profits, too, as Cable and Cottonoperates under a lower retail mark up than usual for fair trade products.

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Now, on to the products themselves. Cable and Cotton is a company that “believes in the transformative power of color”, displayed by the myriad of vibrant hues that customers can choose from. Pick a pre-designed set of lights that matches the décor of your home, or use Cable and Cotton’s “choose your own” option to put together an entirely unique string of lights.

I choose a set of classic white lights to review for this post, with the thought that I’d be able to use them in any room of my home, as well as for parties or Christmas decorating. The bulbs, made of tightly wound cotton thread, are more perfect than I expected them to be, for a handmade product, and only upon close inspection have I been able to see the little variations in texture and pattern on each one. I love that natural fibers have been used to create something that would traditionally be made out of colored plastic.

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The electronic element of the lights is, of course, not a natural/biodegradable thing, but LED bulbs last about 25 times longer than normal Christmas lights, and they use 80% less energy- making it a product that I feel comfortable bringing into my home even with my zero-waste and eco-living aspirations.

The best thing about Cable and Cotton’s lights, to me, is how beautiful they look in the daylight, with the lights off, as well as turned on when it’s dark. Whereas plain old Christmas lights are rather ugly unless they’re shining, Cable and Cotton’s lights make a lovely decoration.

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I’m planning on giving my lovely set of Cable and Cotton lights a permanent home in the bedroom in Andrew’s and my new place, but I couldn’t resist shooting the photos for this post out on the balcony while we enjoyed a picnic this evening. The soft, warm light is beautifully romantic and relaxing.

Cable and Cotton is finally launching in the USA, so you can order lights (which will have the correct plug for your American outlets) now if you’re located there. Which colors would you choose?