"We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We are coming together as a global community to bring our manifesto into reality."
What is Fashion Revolution Week?
Fashion Revolution Week is an annual campaign bringing together the world’s largest fashion activism movement for seven days of action. The week centers around the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed more than 1,100 people and injured 2,500 in a factory in Bangladesh.
This year marks 10 years since the tragedy. During Fashion Revolution week, we remember the lives lost and reflect on changes we still need to make within the global fashion industry.
We all know that, around the world, garment workers are marginalized and treated unfairly. While most of our clothes are made in countries where workers have few rights and cannot unionize, dangerous and unfair employment practices are happening right under our noses in our own country, as well.
A March 2023 U.S. Department of Labor report found violations of the Fair Labor Standards act in 80% of its Southern California investigations, with garment workers earning as little as $1.58 per hour in one case. Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Ruben Rosalez noted, “Many people shopping for clothes in stores and online are likely unaware that the ‘Made in the USA’ merchandise they’re buying was, in fact, made by people earning far less than the U.S. law requires.”
Many companies argue that the people who work inhumane hours in despicable conditions are fortunate to have a job and that otherwise they’d be destitute. The Department of Labor found that more than half the employers they investigated were found to be “illegally paying workers part or all their wages off the books, with payroll records either deliberately forged or not provided.” Worldwide, these companies are exploiting immigrants, children, and poor populations who have no choice but to take these jobs.
Fashion Revolution is committed to creating a better world for the people who make our clothes, and there are many ways that we can help.
What can we do?
Join the fashion revolution. In their most recent Fashion Transparency Index, Fashion Revolution discusses working within the fashion industry and outside of it, and how we can make an impact. They argue that “working within the system means engaging in a system that is deeply unsustainable, extractive and unjust. Engaging within a system we disagree with is not to condone it. In fact, it is the very opposite – an attempt to fundamentally disrupt and dismantle the structures that uphold injustice and exploitation.”
If you’ve been around Passion Lilie for a second, you know that’s how we operate, too. We love fashion, people and the earth, so we work as hard as we can both within the system and outside of it to make incremental changes. Read on to find out how Passion Lilie and the Fashion Revolution Manifesto go hand in hand.
Fashion Revolution’s 10 Point Manifesto:
Fashion provides dignified work, from conception to creation to catwalk. It does not enslave, endanger, exploit, overwork, harass, abuse or discriminate against anyone. Fashion liberates worker and wearer and empowers everyone to stand up for their rights.
Far too many companies, both here and abroad, do not provide fair wages and healthy working conditions, which causes entire economies in other countries to suffer and need our help. Passion Lilie believes that as more members of a community are paid fair wages, more of that money gets invested into the greater economy, and more citizens can live healthier, freer lives.
Fashion provides fair and equal pay. It enriches the livelihood of everyone working across the industry, from farm to shop floor. Fashion lifts people out of poverty, creates thriving societies and fulfills aspiration.
As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Passion Lilie prides itself on providing our hardworking artisans in India with fair pay and safe, uplifting working conditions. Passion Lilie and other fair trade companies – which can span from the clothing industry to coffee, chocolate and more – believe in promoting trade that is equal, just, and empowering.
Fashion gives people a voice, making it possible to speak up without fear, join together in unity without repression and negotiate for better conditions at work and across communities.
One of the many ways that Passion Lilie believes in elevating the voices of garment workers is by providing training that empowers artisans in India by offering fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and long-term employment. We believe that these dignified job opportunities lead to more sustainable societies and a much better world. The women who join our team receive an above average salary as well as sick leave, paid holidays, assistance receiving health insurance, free financial advising, and more. They gain autonomy and have more choices available for their careers.
Fashion respects culture and heritage. It fosters, celebrates and rewards skills and craftsmanship. It recognises creativity as its strongest asset. Fashion never appropriates without giving due credit or steals without permission. Fashion honours the artisan.
Passion Lilie’s clothes are handmade in India because we love the balance they strike between time-honored traditions and modern best practices. With its skillful artistry and designs that draw inspiration from Indian customs as well as nature, Indian clothing made from traditional processes is some of the most fascinating in the world. By creating beautiful scarves, blankets and clothes for Passion Lilie, the artisans who make our clothes give us the opportunity to share their ancient crafts with more people who will cherish them for generations to come.
Fashion stands for solidarity, inclusiveness and democracy, regardless of race, class, gender, age, shape or ability. It champions diversity as crucial for success.
Like Fashion Revolution, Passion Lilie champions solidarity, inclusiveness and democracy. To this end, we regularly work outside the fashion industry by supporting people and organizations who are doing this important work. Some organizations we support are ACLU, The Trevor Project, United Houma Nation and Krewe of Red Beans. In honor of Earth Day 2023, Passion Lilie will donate 10% of online sales to The Green Project for the entire month of April.
- Fashion conserves and restores the environment. It does not deplete precious resources, degrade our soil, pollute our air and water or harm our health. Fashion protects the welfare of all living things and safeguards our diverse ecosystems.
Our fair trade clothing is made with sustainably sourced and eco-friendly materials. Furthermore, Passion Lilie’s entire production and supply chain uses natural energy and sustainable resources. By protecting the environment, the areas in which fair trade clothing is produced will stay healthier and remain capable of producing goods and employing locals for many years to come.
- Fashion never unnecessarily destroys or discards but mindfully redesigns and recuperates in a circular way. Fashion is repaired, reused, recycled and upcycled. Our wardrobes and landfills do not overflow with clothes that are coveted but not cherished, bought but not kept.
Passion Lilie is on a mission to become a zero-waste organization, ensuring all of our leftover fabric is upcycled. We’re using all of our leftover fabric to create fun items like totes, napkins, headbands, bags and even jewelry so that none of our resources are unnecessarily destroyed. We advocate using what’s in your closet before buying something else, and we offer beautiful, sustainable fashion when the time is right for a new garment.
Fashion is transparent and accountable. Fashion embraces clarity and does not hide behind complexity nor rely upon trade secrets to derive value. Anyone, anywhere can find out how, where, by whom and under what conditions their clothing is made.
Here at Passion Lilie, we want to share our story with the world. We want you to know who makes your clothes. We want you to know about the environments in which they work and how we support their craft. On our website, you can easily find out about how we choose our partner groups, information about their opportunities for growth, pay and benefits. If you want to know more about the fabric your garments are made of, we’ve got that too! You can learn how fabric is sourced from farm to loom, you can read about our eco-friendly dying process, and even our conscious transportation methods. We hope you’ll follow Fashion Revolution’s advice and seek out this information from the brands you support. Make sure their values align with yours before you hit “complete purchase.”
Fashion measures success by more than just sales and profits. Fashion conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.
We create high-quality, timeless products, and we educate our customers on how to care for their purchase to extend the life cycle of the product. We are against overconsumption and fast fashion. We understand that not everyone can afford sustainable fashion, which is why we try to offer the best price possible and run sales when we can—so our products are more accessible to customers of all economic backgrounds. We are proud to be a small business and we value being deeply involved in each business process from design to sale.
- Fashion lives to express, delight, reflect, protest, comfort, commiserate and share. Fashion never subjugates, denigrates, degrades, marginalises or compromises. Fashion celebrates life.
If you check out our blog post about this year’s spring fashion line, you’ll see how humanity, earth and fashion are intricately intertwined. Passion Lilie products are a celebration of all of these things. We hope our supporters will wear their clothes to reflect their beliefs, take a stand for something they believe in, and express their personalities. We want our clothes and home goods to be a beautiful part of lives lived to the fullest.
During Fashion Revolution Week, we hope you’ll take time to reflect on what fashion means to you, and how you can work both within the system and outside of it to make desperately needed changes. If you have ideas, we’d love to hear them!