Meet Geetha, the first trainee in our new program.
At Passion Lilie, our mission is to empower 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.
Our talented team of artisans strike a perfect balance between time-honored Indian traditions and new practices. They make Passion Lilie possible, and in return, we want to help them and their communities thrive. Since 2013, when Passion Lilie began, we’ve been able to employ skilled groups across India with decades of experience practicing their craft.
Now, Passion Lilie is excited to announce the next chapter in our company. Always on the lookout for passionate artisans, Passion Lilie is starting a new program focused on providing free job training and long-term, fair trade jobs in the fashion industry to women in India. Our goal is to invest in training more female workers, so we can better assist in reversing the cycle of poverty in their communities and improving the world we live in.
Passion Lilie’s new program will provide job training in the fashion industry to four talented women in India each year. Each woman will spend three months training, giving her a thorough and immersive experience in the industry. As with all artisans who work with us, she will be trained in safe, healthy, dignified working conditions.
At the end of the job training, participants are offered a job with Passion Lilie. During training, however, all expenses are paid for by Passion Lilie and participants do not work on our garments. Our top priority with this program is to invest in training more female workers in India, whether or not they choose to work with us later.
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. Most importantly, they become part of an uplifting and positive community that has come together to form a family.
We are thrilled to introduce the first artisan joining Passion Lilie’s new training program. Geetha will be joining the program starting April 20th.
Before becoming a part of our training program, Geetha worked as an assistant tailor in the apparel industry for many years. Working in this position gave her experience with smaller tasks, such as safety stitching and label attachment. But as an unskilled worker, Geetha was making as little as 8,000 rupees per month, or around 115 U.S. dollars. Geetha, her husband, and their daughter currently rent a house for 6,000 rupees per month.
Through our training program, Geetha will be able to work on larger tasks with a variety of garments and fabrics, developing her skills and preparing her for a career in apparel production. During training, she’ll receive an immediate raise of 13,000 rupees each month. After her training period is over, Geetha can earn an even higher wage at Passion Lilie, allowing her to support herself and her family.
At Passion Lilie, we never ask for charity. All we ask is that you shop ethically and put your purchasing power toward products that are making a difference in the world we live in. Buying fair trade, eco-friendly clothing allows you to make a meaningful impact on the world while looking fashionable in your one-of-a-kind clothing.
Every Passion Lilie product is made with pesticide-free, 100% Indian cotton and designed with azo-free dyes. Our talented team works hard to create success in both New Orleans and India, and we’re proud to bring our passionate, empowering products to you. Shop Passion Lilie today to find clothing that will help you feel good about yourself and the world you live in.
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.
What do you consider the most pressing problems in the world today? You might say the environment. As the demand for freshwater increases in the United States, we face potential price increases, water shortages for our wildlife, and many other consequences. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one-third of American households struggled with their energy needs in 2015. We have also steadily generated more and more waste over the years, filling our landfills, not to mention a whole host of other environmental problems faced by the U.S. and the rest of the world.
While the Earth is suffering, so are many of its people. Health inequity and wealth inequality abound, both in the United States and throughout the globe. The World Health Organization reports that the average life expectancy is just 62 years in low-income countries, while it’s 81 years in high-income countries. Meanwhile, the richest 1% of the global population owns 45% of all the wealth in the world, while many others remain impoverished and struggle to improve conditions for themselves, their families, or their communities.
No matter what you think the world’s biggest issues are, you are unlikely to think of fashion as either a problem or a solution. Yet ethical, sustainable clothing can actually help address many of these issues in ways you may not expect. Even better, clothing is something that everyone needs and uses, making it an extremely accessible avenue for the average person to affect change.
In the United States, we spend over $350 billion shopping every day. That’s more money than our entire country gives to charity over the course of a year! Imagine all the ways we could change the world if we spent more of that money shopping for goods and services that give back. As an ethical, sustainable clothing company, we’re here to tell you how buying ethical clothing online or in stores can make a positive impact on the world around us.
Simply put, ethical fashion is fashion made ethically. This can encompass a whole host of business and production practices aimed at treating your workers fairly and minimizing your impact on the environment. In short, ethical fashion means your clothing is eco-friendly and people-friendly.
So what does ethical fashion mean in terms of fair trade? Fair trade is a global movement to promote trade that is equal, just, and empowering. When you buy fair trade clothing, you know that your clothes were not made using unethical practices, such as sweatshop labor or child labor.
Fair trade focuses on creating dignified and empowering employment for workers in underserved areas. Typically this means working with people in developing countries, but it can also mean providing jobs for underserved communities right here in the United States.
These are just a few of the characteristics of jobs supported by the Fair Trade Movement:
— Workers receive long-term employment opportunities.
— Working relationships are built on transparency, trust, and respect.
— Workers receive fair wages, and men and women are paid equally.
— Workers are provided with safe and healthy working conditions.
— Workers have free speech and can voice their opinions.
— Workers are protected from prejudice, discrimination, and abuse, including sexism, racism, sexual harassment, and more.
— Workers have access to healthcare and time off.
— Workers can improve their skills through further education, job training, and other opportunities.
— Workers have access to financial assistance to help them gain independence and escape poverty.
— Workers’ opinions are valued, and workers can participate in workplace decisions.
— Workers are genuinely happy and comfortable at their jobs.
By buying fair trade, ethical clothing online or in stores, you can support positive, uplifting, and ethical working conditions around the world. Take a look at our top 7 reasons you should buy fair trade clothing for even more great benefits!
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<p>Seven Reasons You Should Buy Fair-Trade Clothing - An infographic by <a href="https://passionlilie.com">Passion Lilie</a></p>
In addition to treating workers fairly, ethical fashion is based on sustainability. This means prioritizing environmentally friendly practices throughout production and making a product that has a lower impact on the environment.
What does ethical fashion mean for sustainability?
— Clothing is made from eco-friendly materials, such as organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO cotton.
— Clothing is safe for people and the environment, avoiding any materials that contain carcinogens, toxins, or other harmful chemicals.
— Clothing is made through sustainable practices that reduce water consumption and waste production.
— Clothing is made using natural energy and avoiding pollution.
While ethical fashion may not solve all of our problems with unsafe chemicals, water shortages, energy consumption, or overflowing landfills, it allows you to reduce your impact on the environment and invest in safer, more sustainable practices.
At Passion Lilie, we believe ethical, sustainable clothing can make a difference. By using fair trade and sustainable practices, we can improve the lives of our artisans and help the environment while delivering a better product to our customers.
The tenets of fair trade are all fine and well, but at the end of the day, they’re just ideas—until they’re put into action. So how has our fair trade company made a real difference?
To start, the teams we work with receive an above average salary, free job training, 24 days of sick leave, 11 government paid holidays, help obtaining health insurance, and financial advising. Our founder, Katie Schmidt, visits them in India to form better relationships with our artisans and ensure they are happy with their jobs. She has seen firsthand how they work together and bond with one another in a positive, dignified workplace, and many say that this is the best part of the job.
One of our artisans, Lydia, rose to the rank of production manager after receiving free job training. She has also used this opportunity to return to school and finish her secondary education, a diploma in Fashion Designing & Merchandising, and a diploma in Business Entrepreneurship.
Padmini, who runs her own block printing workshop and has partnered with Passion Lilie for the past several years, has also partnered with the State Government Women’s Welfare Board to offer free job training to underprivileged women in India, allowing her to help many others.
Banu, their expert color mixer, was hired through this program almost 24 years ago. She had no education and was a homemaker. Today she mentors others on the team and handles production coordination.
These types of success stories abound among our team and show how our fair trade company can make an actual difference in the lives of others and create a ripple effect that improves entire communities.
At Passion Lilie, we have established a sustainable business from the very start, allowing us to minimize our environmental footprint. But we never stop learning, and to this day we are still on the lookout for even more ways to improve our processes and make a more eco-friendly product.
We source local materials, using 100% Indian cotton, and more recently made the switch to only using organic cotton. We also make sure our dyes are azo-free and free from any carcinogens, toxins, or other harmful chemicals.
In addition, we use natural energy while reducing our water consumption and waste production. Our artisans wash our fabrics by hand in local waterways and dry them in the sun to reduce energy usage. We also use leftover fabric to make accessories and other handicrafts, minimizing the amount of waste we produce.
As more and more of us work to reduce our environmental footprint, the greater our collective impact will be! Take the first step by investing in sustainability when you can, starting with shopping at ethical, sustainable clothing stores like Passion Lilie.
Ready to make a global impact while still looking fashionable? Shop ethical clothing online today from Passion Lilie.
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.
Passion Lilie partners with producer groups throughout India in Bangalore, Jaipur, Tirupur, and Hyderabad. These highly skilled artisans work to produce our fabrics, apparel, totes, napkins, and more. Passion Lilie’s products are proudly made in India, and we’re happy to support our artisans each day with fair wages, safe working conditions, and the promise of long-term employment. We choose to make our fair trade products in India for many reasons, but here are just a few of our favorite reasons to support fair trade products made in India.
Our artisans are as central to our business as our mission, which includes empowering artisans around the world. These skillful workers create everything from the hand block prints on our cotton fabrics to the stitches in each article of clothing. Their hard work makes all of Passion Lilie’s products the high-quality, authentic, stylish pieces our customers love. We appreciate the work our artisans put into each product, and it’s one of many reasons we’re so proud to label our work, “Made in India.”
Passion Lilie’s artisans have proven themselves to be incredibly hardworking people. They want to better themselves and provide for their families. If you’ve been following our blog posts, you might remember Ammu. Ammu started going back to school while working for Passion Lilie after having to drop out at a young age due to health conditions. Or you might remember Padmini, the manager of our block printing unit. Padmini partnered with the State Government Women's Welfare Board in order to provide free training in block printing to underprivileged women. These artisans embody our mission of providing dignified employment opportunities across the world, and we are proud to work with them.
Passion Lilie might not be in the farming industry, but our sustainable and eco-friendly practices help preserve the area around us and reduce our overall carbon footprint. We use natural ingredients to make our products, avoiding any dangerous chemicals that would harm the environment or our artisans. India has experienced issues with GMO farming and failed harvests, as well as dangerous factory conditions and explosions. Too much land and too many people have suffered the consequences of bad business practices and unsafe conditions in India, and we’re happy to be a part of the shift away from these destructive business practices. Our sustainable business practices and ethical treatment of workers set a precedent for other companies to do the same and continually strive to do better.
While each Passion Lilie design is made in New Orleans by our founder and designer, Katie Schmidt, all of our products are made in India. Katie works with our artisans to ensure product quality and positive working conditions across continents. This means you can feel good about your purchase no matter what you buy. Here are just a few of our favorite items you can purchase today.
This diamond print is a subtle statement piece. The hand block print is bold and trendy, while its use of black and white makes it easy to match with a variety of outfits. Reach for this scarf whenever you want a little extra texture or flair in an outfit.
The Skylar Shift Dress is flattering, fashionable, and ethical all in one! Front and side darts create a fitted silhouette, and the optional matching fabric belt can be used to accentuate your waist. Meanwhile, the ikat print is a fun and eye-catching component that expresses your confidence and style.
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.
Summers are hot, steamy, and sweaty, especially in our home base of New Orleans. With all the humidity in our city, 89-degree weather can feel like 110-degree weather to us. If your summers are anything like ours, just the thought of pulling on slacks and a button-up to go to work can be enough to make you sweat. Even shorts and a tee can feel oppressive in the summer heat. The solution? Buy a kaftan! Passion Lilie has just the tips to teach women how to wear a kaftan dress style this summer and find the perfect blend of comfort and style.
Kaftans, sometimes also spelled “caftans,” are long, loose dresses. The kaftan dress style is similar to a tunic and comes in a variety of fabrics, lengths, and patterns for both men and women. These dresses have a rich history in a number of cultures, especially those from the Middle East. Kaftans can range from simple to elaborate, sometimes including buttons, zippers, sashes, ribbons, belts, or embroidery for more detail. Most of the time, these gorgeous garments use vibrant, eye-catching colors, making them great for fun, colorful fashion statements.
In addition to being fashionable, the kaftan dress style is unbelievably comfortable. Many kaftans are made from breathable, flowy fabrics. At Passion Lilie, our latest kaftans are designed for women of all ages and made from organic cotton jersey. Kaftans are also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re a middle-aged mom or a millennial, kaftans cover enough to be flattering no matter your body type, while the lively colors and patterns allow you to express yourself creatively and stand out from the crowd. A recent article from Jess Cartner-Morley, Associate Fashion Editor at The Guardian, makes the case for kaftans as the “it” item of the summer. So wear one with confidence to happy hours, beach luaus, barbeques, and all manner of events and occasions this summer.
At Passion Lilie, there are three women’s kaftans available in our Spring/Summer 2018 Collection. Or there were—this hot ticket item has already sold out in one style! Shop for the remaining two styles while they’re still here. Each dress is sold in sizes XS–XL for $84.
This kaftan comes in red, so it’s perfect for Independence Day activities and all sorts of summer picnicking. Look great and stay cool while playing lawn games in a dress that easily transitions into an evening look. Combine with a headscarf if you want to rock a bohemian vibe, pair with a long, gold necklace when you want to look professional, or wear this kaftan on its own for an effortlessly chic look. Slip on this kaftan and your favorite pair of sandals, and you’re out the door and on your way to summer fun in no time.
Wear this muted blue dress for a subtle look that speaks through its elegant floral pattern. Because our kaftans are so easy to throw on, they make great bikini cover-ups and summer vacation outfits. Just pack one up, slip it on, and enjoy being one of the best-dressed women on the beach! This blue-and-gray kaftan looks stunning with a large summer hat and sunglasses.
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, read about our latest trip to India, and shop more of our fabulous kaftans and dresses today.