Clothes made in India using ancient methods are vibrant, unique, and treasured around the world. Many Indian artisans still keep with the traditions of the past by making everything by hand using the purest of materials.
Passion Lilie is dedicated to bringing these gorgeous patterns and materials to the U.S. Although our designs are created in New Orleans, all of our clothing is made in India. Even more importantly, we offer our Indian artisans fair wages and dignified, long-term employment, so every purchase supports these talented artists and their craft.
Today, clothing made in India strikes a perfect balance 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.
Learn more about the customary practices for making clothing in India and where you can buy clothes made in India online today.
One of the first things you might notice about clothes made in India are the bright, vivid colors. What you may not realize at first glance is that these dyes are as safe as they are beautiful.
— Black dyes are created by baking scraps of metal and sugar in a jar of mud. The jar is buried and left with the lid tightly sealed for three weeks.
Once a few basic colors have been formed from natural materials, these dyes can be mixed together to create even more colors.
It takes a great deal of skill to identify the proper ingredients for these dyes. For example, the artisan must consider the age of the tree or plant, which will affect the exact shade of the color it produces. Older trees produce darker shades, while younger trees make lighter shades.
From the pre-treatment of the fabric to its final washing, every step of the dyeing process uses elements that are found naturally throughout India. This type of natural dyeing takes time and great attention to detail, leading to remarkable results.
Artisans throughout India use the following process to dye fabrics with plant-based or vegetable-based dyes.
For a more detailed look at this intricate process, read our Plant and Vegetable Dyes page.
This ancient dyeing process is a unique tradition still used on clothes made in India today.
Reactive dyes have a chemical reaction to the fabric they’re used on. They change the fabric on a molecular level, making them a permanent part of the fabric.
Small variations in the color are normal and part of what makes reactive dyed products so unique. Using this method, clothing won’t bleed or become faded with time, leaving you with clothes that are vibrant, beautiful, and handcrafted.
Clothes made in India with reactive dyes use the following process.
Learn more about this process by reading our blog post.
Clothes made in India often incorporate the technique of hand block printing. Block printing was popularized in China and many other East Asian countries, but it was in India where it really hit upon its highest visual expression.
This centuries old art form starts with a simple piece of wood. In India, the native teak tree is preferred for woodblock printing.
The wood is hand-carved into any shape the designer wishes to use. Many times, you’ll see designs inspired by nature in the clothing made in India, or else symbols relating to Indian beliefs and customs.
Block printing involves the following process for clothes made in India.
As with clothes made in India using reactive dyes, block printed clothing is all the more unique for its small variations and handcrafted tradition. It also takes advantage of natural processes and materials to make a product that is safe and sustainable.
At Passion Lilie, we appreciate the environmentally friendly foundation of these long-standing Indian practices and hope to share them with the world through our clothing made in India. By using materials found in nature rather than forged by harmful chemicals, washing by hand, and drying in the sun, we use less energy than modern manufacturing processes and reduce our environmental footprint.
For more information about block printing, visit our Hand Block Printing page.
Crafting handwoven and ikat dyed clothing in India is a valuable source of livelihood that is steeped deep in tradition. In fact, India produces more than 90% of all handwoven clothing in the world.
Ikat refers to a resist dyeing process that allows artisans to create patterns on yarn before it is woven into fabric. Weavers must possess incredible skill to dye the yarns precisely according to a desired pattern and then weave them into a final product.
While most countries have taken to using electric looms, many Indian artisans still believe in the creativity, artistry, and rich tradition of the handloom. Though it may take slightly longer, it is a process they feel passionate about, and one that can be used even without access to electricity.
Ikat and handwoven clothes made in India use the following process.
To produce 24 meters of fabric, an artisan needs about 16 hours on a handloom or 12 hours on an electric loom. Want to learn more about the handloom weaving and ikat dyeing process? Read our blog post.
While Passion Lilie’s designs are created in New Orleans, all our clothes are made in India. The talented team of artisans we employ work in a close-knit community, where they oversee the final steps needed to turn our fabric into clothing and accessories before they’re sent to the U.S.
Each Passion Lilie product is cut, stitched, ironed, and tagged by these accomplished artisans, as shown in the video above. From the moment the designs leave our founder and lead designer, Katie Schmidt, in New Orleans, they’re brought to life by talented artisans in India. The result is beautiful, unique, eco-friendly clothing from India available for sale online.
Most of us have encountered reactive dyes before, even if we didn’t realize it at the time. Have you ever tie-dyed a shirt? Modern tie-dye often uses reactive dyes. Many American retailers, however, do not use reactive dyes. Reactive dyeing must be done by hand rather than by machine. At Passion Lilie, we use this ancient dyeing process to produce unique, authentic, eco-friendly clothing that resists fading. Learn more and shop our beautifully dyed products today.
Reactive dyes, also referred to as fabric reactive dyes, are dyes that chemically react with fabric. They affect the molecules of the fabric, making them a permanent part of whatever they dye. This is why they resist fading so much better than other dyes. They absorb and alter the color of fabric.
As an ethical, sustainable brand, Passion Lilie only uses natural binders and eco-friendly dyes in our reactive print paste. Tharangini Studio’s skilled artisans use a combination of ancient techniques and modern advances to produce the best results from our reactive dyeing process:
Now that you know a little more about our reactive dyeing process, you may be wondering why we bother with such a time-consuming method. Reactive dyes come with a number of big benefits:
Ready to reap the advantages of reactive dyes? Shop these Passion Lilie products made with reactive dyes. Many of these popular items have limited sizes remaining in our current stock, so snag yours while you can!
For standout sophistication, nothing beats this knit dress. Its gorgeous stripe-on-stripe pattern and starfish neckline create a one-of-a-kind look, while the soft, organic jersey cotton and side pockets offer comfort and convenience.
Searching for something bold, yet still classy? This dress has it covered with an adventurous geometric pattern you can wear from the office to gallery openings, cocktail parties, and more.
Find all the comfort of a t-shirt with all the style and sophistication of a little black dress in the Dusk Button Dress. Friends, family, and even strangers will get lost gazing at its beautiful starry pattern.
Add texture and pattern to any outfit with the Indigo Flowers Scarf. Made using reactive dyes, its rich indigo color can stand out while staying neutral for easy pairing with the rest of your outfit.
For a similar look in another pattern, check out our Indigo Dreams Scarf today. You can also shop more of Passion Lilie’s ethical apparel, read about our mission, or discover more fashion tips and trends on our blog.
The Greeting Card Association reports that we purchase around 6.5 billion greeting cards annually in the United States. There are so many special occasions that are even better with a card, but that’s a lot of cards and a lot of paper. Did you know that recycling just one ton of paper can save 31 trees and 3.5 cubic meters of landfill space? According to the Southern Waste Information Exchange, that’s not only true, but we’re also not making enough efforts toward embracing recycling. Not enough places offer recycled cards. Although they’re often harder to find than they should be, rest assured that you can always buy a recycled card from Passion Lilie for your next special occasion!
When you buy a recycled card from Passion Lilie, you support a good cause. Our cards not only help you support recycling, but support elephants in Sri Lanka, too. Each card is made from elephant dung, which is a free resource in Sri Lanka and makes great recycled paper once it’s cleaned and processed. It may sound odd, but you would never know from looking at (or smelling) any of these cards! Sri Lankans have long neglected elephants as an economic resource and killed them off, but by turning their dung into paper, we are helping to shift how Sri Lankans view and treat elephants.
While it already feels great to buy a recycled card to support elephants, the good that comes from your purchase doesn’t stop there. Each recycled card is hand block printed by a young adult in India who has autism or handicap disabilities. These individuals are part of a training program for those with special needs, and each recycled card’s proceeds contribute to their education and training.
Learn more about the story behind Passion Lilie’s recycled cards on our website.
Can’t wait to start purchasing our recycled greeting cards? Here are a few perfect occasions with a recycled card to match.
If you’re a parent sending your child back to school this fall, send a greeting card with your student. You can introduce yourself and thank them in advance for guiding your child through the next step in their education. It’s a lovely way to show your appreciation. The recycled Butterfly Greeting Card is great for this occasion, because butterflies are often associated with growth, and the hand block design is eye catching and beautiful.
A greeting card is one of the most meaningful ways to wish someone good luck. No matter if it’s for the first day of school, a big interview, or another significant event, the recycled Bird Greeting Card from Passion Lilie is sure to bring a smile to their face. Birds are brave and soar high, and seeing one is an excellent inspiration for anyone preparing for something big or intimidating.
For all your recycled card and ethical fashion needs, check out Passion Lilie’s selection of products today. If you like this post, read about why we’re proudly made in India and any other posts on our blog. Shop now or contact Passion Lilie with any questions.
As you scroll through Passion Lilie’s collection of fashionable and ethical apparel, you can’t miss the ikat print. It’s both eye-catching and fun, it has a huge range, and it looks great on everything from statement pieces to entire dresses. Western cultures have been making ikat for centuries, and its creation is one we take great pride in. Ikat patterns can be found in Peru, Guatemala, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and more. It’s a technique that has developed across the globe. Our artisans make ikat prints by hand in India, and we’d like to highlight the process for you to give new meaning to your ikat apparel.
Ikat translates from Indonesian to English as “to tie” or “to bind.” Its name comes from the hands-on process of creating the pattern, described below. Although the results look like a print, ikat is actually a dyeing process rather than a printing process.
Many rows of yarn are laid out and stretched to about 10 meters, which will ultimately make 24 meters when woven. The rows of yarn will depend on how many different colors will be used in the ikat “print” creation process.
The artisan draws lines on the yarn to indicate the final ikat print or pattern.
Rubber bindings are placed along the lines to mark the pattern. These rubber bindings are crucial because they resist the dye. If it weren’t for these, the entire fabric would end up colored, and the pattern would not create the ikat print as expected.
The yarn is dyed with the base or main color. All Passion Lilie products, including those with ikat prints, are made using plant and vegetable dyes, eco dyes, or organic dyes. We believe in using sustainable, environmentally responsible practices through every step of the process, so you can feel good about wearing our apparel and avoid harsh chemicals. You can learn more about ethical shopping with our ethical shopping guide.
Next, the yarn is stretched out on poles in the sun to dry. Sun is very important to the ikat print creation process. Once the yarn has dried, the bindings are removed. If more colors are needed in the design, then steps 1–4 will be repeated until the final ikat print is complete.
The ikat print is complete! The yarn is then placed on cones and on the loom.
Due to the care and attention to detail required by this process, each ikat print is truly one of a kind. The result of this process is fun, trendy fabrics that can be converted into a wide variety fashionable pieces. Browse several of our top ikat print items today and expand your wardrobe!
This dress is perfect for the beach or even just to wear to work as a reminder of the sandy shores and ocean waves. The bright blue and white are a cheery combination, while the silhouette hugs your curves in all the right places.
This poncho is a trendy way to switch things up from your usual jacket or blazer. The tie in the front is flattering yet comfortable. Embrace this ikat print anywhere from the office to your next special occasion.
With its bright blue hues and aquatic ikat print, this scarf can’t help but remind us of the Caribbean Sea. The tassels at the bottom add a little bit more fun to the texture as well. Wear it around your neck at dinner to accessorize your outfit, or wrap it around your shoulders to keep warm when the air conditioning is blasting.
There’s nothing quite like a stylish headband to keep your hair out of your face. Whether you’re having a bad hair day or simply want to accessorize, this ikat print headband would be a great addition to your closet.
If you’re curious to learn more about the ikat print and its creation process, check out our Ikat Process video. Shop our collection for more ikat print apparel and accessories, and feel free to contact Passion Lilie with any questions. We love sharing the hard work of our artisans, and we know you will, too!
According to the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), fair trade is an ideology businesses adopt to support workers, from farmers to artisans, in third-world countries and around the world. The goal is to improve international trade by increasing its fairness, honesty, and transparency. Passion Lilie is a proud member of the FTF, and our brand 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. Although we support all kinds of fair trade companies, we are particularly passionate about the answer to this one question: Why buy fair trade clothing?
Fair trade companies agree to pay their workers fair wages. Having fair, stable income allows these workers to take care of their families by putting food on the table, providing clothing for their children, and more. At Passion Lilie, we offer Indian artisans the income they need to avoid the conditions of poverty.
Why buy fair trade clothing when your country’s economy is doing well? 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. 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, fuller lives above the poverty line.
Another facet of fair trade is being environmentally responsible. 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.
Many fair trade companies use high-quality and eco-friendly materials—but more importantly, they avoid using harsh chemicals, dyes, and other unsafe materials. Passion Lilie has begun using organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free cotton as a part of our efforts as a fair trade company, and we also use plant- and vegetable-based dyes, organic dyes, and azo-free dyes.
Fair trade companies listen to their workers and give them the chance to speak openly about their wages, working conditions, job satisfaction, and more. Fair trade workers should know they are free from discrimination, forced labor, and other unfair conditions. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard. When you buy fair trade clothing, you can rest assured the artisans responsible for providing you with your new goods know their rights and have a dialogue with their employers.
Why buy fair trade clothing from Passion Lilie? In addition to being ethical, our apparel is attractive, flattering, and high quality. At Passion Lilie, we love to see women (and men) embrace our bold prints, classic styles, and fashionable accessories. Here are some of our favorite pieces to make you feel great, both inside and out.
Looking for fair trade dresses? This popular dress has the perfect bright blue print and sweet, flattering silhouette for summer. Enjoy the front pockets and soft organic cotton!
These denim-colored shorts are just the right amount of comfortable and casual. The drawstring is easily adjustable so you can find your perfect fit, and the pockets complement the good looks with great functionality.
Even in the heat of New Orleans, you’ll love our flirty and flowy Spinnaker Grey Pants. Embrace fair trade while rocking this fun print out on town or on a relaxing day at home.
Passion Lilie is a fair trade brand dedicated to empowering artisans around the world. Designed in New Orleans and made in India, we are proud to produce fair trade apparel. Learn more about our ethical apparel and shop more of our fabulous products today.
Summer is the perfect time to update your wardrobe. With vacations, backyard barbeques, and summer Fridays in the office, there’s always a reason to get a new outfit. But have you ever thought of the impact your clothing purchases have? It’s not usually on our minds when we need a new dress or pair of shoes that the worker who made them might be unfairly paid or the environment might be negatively impacted by our purchases. Even though many designers don’t consider these factors when producing their goods, Passion Lilie prides itself on make ethical apparel you can feel good about purchasing and look great wearing.
According to the Ethical Fashion Forum, ethical apparel is about doing what’s morally right. This means making a deliberate effort to reduce poverty, promote sustainability, and mitigate your environmental impact as your apparel is created. Companies that make ethical apparel do things like fight for fair wages, promote healthy working environments, condemn the use of toxic chemicals, and maintain high sustainability standards. Ethical apparel makes you not only look good but feel good, because you know your purchases are having a positive effect on society.
Passion Lilie designs all of its clothes in New Orleans, but amazing artisans in India work hard to produce each piece. Passion Lilie works with several producer groups throughout India, including apparel production teams in Bangalore and Tirupur. As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Passion Lilie ensures the artisans it employs are paid fair wages and promised safe and healthy working conditions. Furthermore, Passion Lilie strives to use eco-friendly materials in each of its pieces of ethical apparel. Most recently, we have begun implementing 100% organic cotton and toxin-free dyes into our garments. Passion Lilie is committed to reducing the cycle of poverty in India and having the smallest environmental footprint possible. If you’d like to learn more about our producer groups in India, read about our latest trip here!
Ready to amp up your summer wardrobe with ethical apparel? Below are some trendy summer pieces on sale now. Check them out while they’re still here!
Whether you’re headed to the office or a cocktail party, this dress is a perfect choice. The design is inspired by mosaic tiles with a bold red print, and it will compliment your figure with a v-neck and coordinated midriff. It also features two front side pockets for unbeatable convenience. The dress pattern is hand block stamped with eco dyes, and its purchase will help secure work and fair wages to artisans in Bangalore.
This fun men’s shirt is great for days on the boat, deck parties, or date nights. The tropical design is hand block printed with blue and tan eco dyes. Each shirt is gently tapered at the waist and broadens up at the shoulders for a flattering fit, and you will feel even better knowing each purchase supports the artisans that made it and the environment in which it was made.
Here in New Orleans, air conditioning is powerful. For those summer days when it’s 90 degrees outside but freezing in the office, keep this one-size-fits-all Aqua Blue Poncho handy. This poncho can be tied with its belt to accentuate your waist or kept loose for when you’ve had just a little too much to eat. It’s not just fashionable—it’s ethical, too! Each poncho is handwoven and dyed through the ancient ikat dyeing process, and each purchase will help support fair wages and employment for artisans in Bangalore.
Passion Lilie is an ethical fashion brand dedicated to empowering artisans around the world. Designed in New Orleans and made in India, we are an eco-friendly and fair trade company. Learn more about our mission and shop more of our fabulous products today.
This Autumn is all about comfy cute styles, which are versatile and hard to resist. There are 7 staple pieces that are a must have this upcoming season and thankfully there are fair trade companies, like us, who provide them. Let's get started:
We're taking it back to the 90's! Summer 2017 was the season of the romper, so it's only right to make way for the jumpsuit this fall. Whether you pair the jumpsuit with heels or sneakers, this is one look that will always turn heads. Not only that, but it's always essential to keep one around when you need something quick, cute and easy to throw on.
Wide leg pants are one of the holy grails for comfy cute styles. Once you get into this trend, it's hard to turn away, because who doesn't love to look effortlessly stylish while being extremely cozy? You can throw these on to go to work, with a basic tee, a statement necklace and heels. Or even dress them down with a crop top and sandals. Either way, you can't go wrong with wide leg pants.
Another trend that's returned for a comeback is the backpack, miniature style. The small backpack trend is well suited for those of you who ditch your most essential items for a purse that's just not big enough. Although it's the least versatile out of the bunch, it definitely adds character to any casual look. Plus, it's close to impossible to lose or misplace.
Here's a trend that just about every woman on Earth has donned at one point in their lifetime: the oversized sweater. Whether it's your boyfriends, your dads or simply a sweater you bought a size too big, every woman's got one. The oversized pullover is perfect for layering and can be paired with a scarf and jeans or leggings. Although this piece is simple, it can be styled various different ways and will always ensure comfortability.
A must have for Fall 2017 has got to be the slip-on sandal. Slides have always been essential to any casual wardrobe, however they're now being worn in a number of different ways and styles this year. From mules to pool slides, the slip-on sandal has become vital to the perfect fall wardrobe. The slip on sandal can be styled with just about anything and are nothing short of comfortable.
The choker might be the least comfortable trend out of the group, however it might also be the most versatile. If you decide to dress formal or causal, the choker will always be there to add pizzazz to your look. Not to mention, the choker is a D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) fanatic's dream! So if you don't have the cash for this staple item, any piece of old fabric you love or even an old necklace that's broken can be turned into a one-of-a-kind choker.
This one is a classic. The slip-on dress is easy and a frequent go-to. This piece can be worn with just about any kind of shoes, whether it's flowy and boldly patterned or a simple t-shirt dress. Additionally, this piece can be worn whether you're going for a night on the town or a quick run to the grocery store. Not to mention the slip-on dress will always be effortlessly chic and usually, when you're shopping with Passion Lilie, it will always have pockets for additional coziness.