Printspiration: Spring 2017 Line

Posted on February 20, 2017 by Karen Fischer | 0 comments

Spring always brings a host of changes to Passion Lilie designs and invigorates customers and our designer, Katie, alike. This spring brings a host of new silhouettes, patterns and designs that we have never tried before sprinkled with a couple fan favorites. I sat down to catch up with Katie to get a glimpse into her mind for the inspiration behind the Spring 2017 line. Check out a sneak peek of three BRAND NEW designs below and the story beneath the fabric:

Pink Pomegranate Dress

"This is a new silhouette for Passion Lilie that we have never done before! I love a simple shift dress but I also love things that look really fitted at the same time. The dress has darts in the front and the back so it tailors to the body very nicely. I also wanted to reference fruit and summertime. Plus, I love pink because it is a color that will make you feel good when you wear it."

Aloha Blue Flowers Dress

"My inspiration is Hawaii and that beachy tropical vibe. Flowery prints like this are very typical in Hawaii. I'm a costume history buff and I love the turn of the century styles when women wore low bust lines with an open bottom, it's very flattering for a lot of body types."  

La Rosa Dress

"I've done quite a bit of travelling and I have always loved ethnic prints and dresses that are beachy and breezy and can simply be comfortable for travelling. I wanted something flowy and easy to slip on that was a bit loose at the waist where you can indulge for dinner but still be comfortable in your dress. I've been wanting to embroider for a long time and in terms of the style I wanted a South American boho vibe, which is why the flowers are a throwback to vintage embroidery. This is another new silhouette for Spring 2017!"

Check back in with us in the beginning of March to see our FULL Spring 2017 line of brand-new fair trade clothing from Passion Lilie! 

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Interwoven Histories: Why Cotton Matters

Posted on January 29, 2017 by Karen Fischer | 0 comments

Passion Lilie and other ethical clothing companies in our sphere focus heavily on the use of cotton for clothing designs. Often people are excited by the resurgence of cotton use or may ask, “Why cotton?”

We choose cotton because you can feel the difference—if you are at a boutique and run your hands over a rack of clothes, you can immediately pick out the cotton pieces. Why is cotton so timeless?

The oldest cotton relic in the world are bits found in Mexican caves over 7000 years ago. It was initially grown and developed in Eurasia in 600 BC by Egyptian migrants who settled in what is now Pakistan. These merchants introduced woven cotton textiles to Europe around 80 A.D which opened up the commercial route and public craving for cotton products. It is even recorded that Christopher Columbus found cotton growing in the Bahamas, therefore inspiring the growth of cotton production throughout the United States soon after.

At one point, imported Indian calicos and chintz cotton textiles—cheaper cotton fabrics that were popular in the lower/middle classes of Europe—grew to be so popular that it drove British manufacturers to the brink of collapse. British legislation was passed to ban these imported textiles to allow British industry to revive. This eventually evolved further into Britain importing raw Indian cotton, spinning it into textiles and then exporting those textiles right back to India.

Needless to say, even with an extremely miniature history lesson, cotton was been one of the most contentious and highly coveted commodities of modern times. However, cotton has seen a steady decline in the current state of clothing manufacturing due to the rise of man-made fabrics, such as polyester.

Polyester is derived from coal, water and petroleum. The textile is formed due to a chemical reaction between acid and alcohol. Polyester is often not seen as a valuable textile because it is thinner and less durable than its natural counterpart. Plus, polyester and other man-made textiles are not biodegradable—as in, if you throw away an old H&M t-shirt made of polyester because it became crumpled in the wash, it will never break down in a dump or a landfill. Whereas cotton, the natural counterpart, will biodegrade in a compost pile within weeks.

We don’t often think about the life after our clothes and the importance of supporting natural fibers. We all may not be able to buy environmentally friendly cars or solar panels on our home, but we have a choice in the kinds of clothing we can buy. Cotton does not rely on the further extraction of fossil fuels which contribute directly to climate change for manufacturing. When cotton does need to be disposed of, it can break down in our world naturally.

Next time you are picking out that perfect dress or top for a night out, think to check the tag of the item to see what material it is made from and try to find pieces that are made of cotton. Your money will go farther and the earth will thank you.

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Ethical Gifts That Pair Perfectly with Your Bestie’s Astrological Sign

Posted on December 10, 2016 by Karen Fischer | 0 comments

If you are anything like me, the holiday season, birthdays, baby showers—essentially any event that entails a gift—gives you equal parts anxiety and elation. I’m quick to pick the gifts for my friends that I would obviously enjoy, but not always what my bestie would really want. But the best way to pick out a gift? Figure out their sign—their imprint in the stars gives away everything you need to know about their character to nail that perfect gift. And, to boot, all of these gifts are ethically sourced and give back to the earth and communities around the world. What’s not to love? 


Capricorns tend to be the practical force in your life. They’re resourceful and surrogate parents when you need them to be, so they tend to gravitate towards gifts that are actually functional— you know, that they will actually use. Behold, the You Can and You Will Mug by Lionheart Prints. Not only is the mug functional for your everyday cup of coffee, but these words of wisdom will inspire the Capricorn of your life, or whoever they interact with throughout their day, first thing in the AM.


What truly stimulates the Aquarius is a gift that spurs their intellectual curiosity and provides them something new and creative to learn about. Check out this Kantha Beaded Grid Cuff, it’s handmade by artisan collectives in India by recycled saris. When the saris wear down, they are wrapped around these tiny wooden beads and transformed into gorgeous accessories! The stories wrapped up in these wooden beads are sure to tickle the heart and mind of that quirky Aquarius in your life.



The Pisces is the dreamer of the zodiac. A natural explorer, the sign of the fish tends to go with the waves and get lost constantly in their own imaginations. This Looking Glass Gloria Tote by Manos Zapotecas is a win-win—it has the stitching quality and design to purely marvel at and soothing blue accents to let your Pisces drift off seamlessly into their daydreams. Don’t worry, they’ll return to their meeting at work or family party with no regret for daydreams of the sea because it’s THAT beautiful.


The Aries has a streak of independence and contagious enthusiasm that can never be tamed. Have they been talking about taking that Route 66 road-trip for, like, ever? Gift them this Yami Black Backpack to give them that final push to take the adventure they’ve been dreaming about. This backpack is made by women in Ethiopia out of ethical leather and vegetable tanned. Just wait for the Aries to rave about their trip when they return home!


The Taurus is by far the earthiest sign in the stars. They don’t mind being alone and, at times, they actually prefer their alone time to contemplate and meditate about the meaning of their lives. That’s why this Oil Spill Choker by Porter Lyons would specifically call to them. The Occo Occo Geode stone encourages a free way of thinking and victory to work or play. Also, Porter Lyons is also New Orleans and women-owned. Score!


Geminis are the sign of two faces—they thrive on their own split personalities. Since they are an inconsistent character, a gift that compliments their impulsive nature is key. The Black Dash Poncho by—you guessed it—Passion Lilie is absolutely perfect for them! With an open, flowing design and a sash to taper in the fabric for a more fitted look, this layering piece of excellent for that Gemini in your life to get the best of both worlds.


Cancers are the pendulum sign in the zodiac. At first, they have an impermeable shell but when you become close to one, they have gooey, emotional centers that they protect relentlessly. What better way to embrace their warm, gooey center this holiday season than the best way to break through anyone’s shell: chocolate. Rich, decadent, ethical chocolate. We recommend Divine Chocolate with Hazelnuts and Cranberries to ring in the holiday season, and all incoming mood shifts for better and for worse that they bring.


Leos crave a gift that will scream LOOK AT ME. The queen of the fire signs, Leos are rambunctious with a massive ego that demands respect and adoration. They are the proudest of the zodiac pack, and you can trust that the chief Leo at Passion Lilie, yours truly, ADORES all colors that provide the perfect POP off of a white or black top. Behold, this gorgeous jewel-toned Classic Olive Ikat Scarf! It’s heavy enough to withstand wind and such an attention-grabber, I only have people ask me “Where did you get that scarf?!” about twelve times a day.


Virgos are perceptive and always plotting out their next steps in life. It is imperative for them to be mentally organized, therefore this Uzma Wood Journal will help them unleash their fullest potential for greatness—in their own style. This journal is made of wood and recycled cotton remnants in Northern India and provides low-income women opportunities for social prosperity.


There is no better friend in the zodiac than the Libra. Eternally fixed on always trying to make people happy, Libra’s are professionals at knowing how to see the world through another person’s shoes. That’s why a necklace from The Giving Keys would strike a true nerve in them. Crafted in Los Angeles by individuals transitioning out of homelessness, each necklace is made from recycled keys that are engraved with a word or phrase that the wearer needs for themselves, such as ‘Courage’ or ‘Strength.’ The idea is to pass on the necklace—and therefore the word—to someone in their life who needs that word more than they do when the time comes.


Scorpio’s are fiercely persistent and independent beyond measure. They need to be in control and have something they can use to their precise liking. That’s why this Cake Face Soaping Variety Pack is the BEST gift for the Scorpio in your life—they can use however much they like at any given time for any given day. Cake Face Soaping is also vegan, handmade and locally Louisiana owned.


There is one thing a Sagittarius despises above all other things—boredom. They always need mental and physical stimulation to unleash their curiosities. That’s why this Indian Rosewood Box Puzzle is the perfect gift to grace their desk at work or their coffee table in their spare down time! This puzzle is handmade in India by rural artisans and provides them a fair wage that quadruples their typical monthly income.



Posted in Fair Trade

Show the Love on Small Business Saturday!

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Karen Fischer | 0 comments

Everyone knows what it is like to rush into your local big-box retailer on Black Friday for deals on a myriad of items or holding off until the following Monday to go crazy on Amazon or another online retailer on Cyber Monday. However, how much of that money generated from those purchases actually goes back into your local community and economy?

Let’s talk a few numbers. There are 27 million small business nationwide which employ 77 million Americans. Small businesses increase local real estate values by 50% and 3 out of every 4 dollars spent locally go back into the community.

Not so small now, huh? Small Businesses contribute to the makeup of America in such a massive way that American Express took initiative in 2010 to launch the first Small Business Saturday and give small business a platform we rightfully deserve. The day turned out to be a massive success and, to talk a few more numbers, 95 million people come out to shop and 14.3 billion was spent on that single day across the country. 

After the initial launch of Small Business Saturday, the United States Senate unanimously supported a resolution to honor the day and what it brings to local economies. In these volatile political times, Small Business Saturday represents the nonpartisan, core values of the American Dream—hard work, perseverance and creativity that uplifts communities.

To Passion Lilie, Small Business Saturday shows solidarity within our neighborhood, our city and our global community from New Orleans to India. We are so proud to be participating and invite you to join us in celebrating in person at our showroom at 3207 Burgundy Street in New Orleans, LA or online at

Our deals for 11/25-11/29:

* The first 10 shoppers in store will receive a FREE Small Business Saturday Tote 

* Spend $50 and receive a FREE Passion Lilie Tote Bag

* 25% off Clearance Items with Coupon Code FairIsTheNewBlack

10% off Regular Priced Items with Coupon Code SmallBiz

$20 off orders over $100 with Coupon Code CyberMonday

Click HERE to shop.

Shop in-store
3207 Burgundy Street
New Orleans, LA 70117
Friday- Sunday 12-6pm

Posted in Fair Trade

India: An Inside Look

Posted on November 04, 2016 by Katie Schmidt | 0 comments

From the designer of Passion Lilie, Katie Schmidt

The best way I can describe India is a constant chaos where somehow everything has order. I visit India once a year- these visits are filled with meetings with artisan groups in order to develop our relationships, improve product quality and create new designs.

Every trip is fast paced, as there is a lot to accomplish, but it is also a spiritual journey for me- a chance to escape my world in New Orleans and immerse myself in India- a country that I am deeply fascinated with.

So… without further ado- pictures! 

Working with the women who are masters at mixing the perfect color.
Having tea and laughing with the tailors at the stitching unit.
Meeting with the hand loom weavers to see their new designs.
Meeting with the block printers to develop new scarf designs. 
And of course, every trip needs a little relax time. This year I went to the beautiful tea plantations in Munnar- wow what a treat! 
And yes, the cows roam freely on the street in every shape size and color :) 
For more pictures visit our Instagram @passionlilie



Posted in Fair Trade, India

Layers of Love: A Textile Story

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Katie Schmidt | 0 comments

This Fall we teamed up with or handloom weavers in Andhra Pradesh to bring you beautiful hand woven ikat ponchos. 

What is Ikat Fabric?


Ikat dyeing and weaving is a centuries old tradition. Yarns are stretched out about 10 meters long, an intricate design is drawn onto the threads and rubber bindings are wrapped around the parts of the design that are to resist the dye. The threads are then hand dip dyed. The bindings are removed after dyeing and if a second or third color is used, this process is repeated. Once the threads are completely dyed, the fabric is woven on either a power loom or a hand loom. Read more here.


Layer the ponchos over sweaters or long sleeves for the perfect Fall look.  Or tie it in front for an on trend kimono look.

Click here to shop!

Posted in Design, Fair Trade

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade: Learning the Difference

Posted on September 05, 2016 by Cora Boyd | 0 comments

Fair trade...fair trade...

Say that five times fast. 

There's a reason people confuse the two.  We all want freedom, and we all want fairness.  But what is the difference between the two, exactly?  

Put simply, "free trade" refers to government systems that facilitate exchange between countries.  These agreements include lowered quotas and tariffs, and loosened trade regulations across borders.  The goal of free trade is to foster economic growth for participating countries.

"Fair trade," on the other hand, refers to a socially conscientious movement whose goal is to encourage social and economic equity.  Fair trade businesses and organizations seek to empower oft-marginalized artisans and producers through providing fair wages for good work, so that workers can access a higher quality of life.  

Here's a breakdown from a comprehensive article published by Fair Trade Federation: 

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade


At Passion Lilie, we're so proud to be fair trade certified and to play one part in a larger movement that actively contributes to a better world.  

Now go impress people at dinner parties with your new knowledge! 

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