On the surface, the fashion industry seems a world apart from politics. Yet fashion and politics have long been intertwined, as both women and men have used their attire as a way of conveying their social and political views. Contemporary political fashion trends may look different than those of centuries gone by, but fashion remains an effective and accessible way of broadcasting your beliefs and standing up for your views.
Take a look at nearly any society, and you can find instances where politics have impacted its fashion. In the 18th century, for instance, some Englishmen took to wearing short, colorful suits and adopting other eccentric styles as a political statement in opposition to the more traditional Whigs. Even the type of fabric worn, such as silk or wool, could be used to reflect the politics of international trade at various points in history.
As a historically marginalized group, women have forged a unique relationship with fashion, especially as a vehicle for political expression. Denied most other means of expression, many women turned to one of the few aspects of their lives they could control: their clothing.
Just as men were able to make a political statement with the fabrics included in their clothes, so too could women. According to the Yale Press Log, Britain promoted the silk designs of Anna Maria Garthwaite in the 18th century as a way of declaring their patriotism and asserting their superiority over the French in the silk industry.
But this political fashion trend took a different turn in what would become the United States. During the American Revolution, many colonial women boycotted British goods, including Garthwaite’s silks. Meanwhile, the Daughters of Liberty and other American women made their own clothing as a patriotic act.
Fast forward a couple of centuries, and women were still using fashion to provide a glimpse into what they felt passionate about. In the 1960s, women in America were in the midst of a sexual revolution. They wanted the men in power to know that they were no longer going to be controlled or suppressed—and, as such, fashion trends began to change swiftly.
According to Time magazine, miniskirts appeared in America during the ‘60s as a feminist push against the previous decade’s concepts of womanhood. More and more women began wearing pants, and bras were being burned in the streets. Women were using newfound freedoms to rid themselves of old gender norms and ideas, and political fashion trends were a critical part of the process.
Fashion has been used to express politics for centuries, and the new millennium is no exception. As technology has allowed for instantaneous dissemination of information, a new political climate has formed—one that is both dizzying and polarizing. People of all walks of life have the ability to broadcast their political opinions on social networks that reach thousands upon millions of users, but that has not replaced fashion’s role in politics. In fact, certain political fashion trends have gained additional exposure on social media, allowing them to grow even more.
Some of the most iconic political fashion trends of today include:
— The Red Baseball Cap: When Donald Trump emerged as a political candidate in 2015, he brought along with him a baseball hat that would become a political symbol for years to come. The simple red hat, emblazoned with the phrase "Make America Great Again," would become the mascot for his campaign, while its slogan became a rallying cry for his supporters leading up to the 2016 election. The hat was a hit among the throngs of supporters, who continue to wear them to show their support for the 45th president.
— The Pantsuit: On the other side of the aisle in 2015 and 2016 was Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, who was also the first woman to run for president with the support of a major political party. She came to every campaign event in a professional pantsuit, which would soon become her trademark. Her supporters began donning their own pantsuits, often sharing photos of the outfits online, to express their support for her campaign.
— The Pink Knit Hat: The pink knit hat is another iconic political fashion statement from the 2016 election. Bright pink and knit (or, in some cases, sewn) to give the appearance of two cat-like ears on top, these hats were popularized by protestors in the Women’s March of 2017, which occurred in Washington D.C. and across the country to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration. The hat became a symbol of feminism for the modern age and a political fashion trend among women of all ages.
People at every point on the political spectrum have the opportunity to express their political and social beliefs through fashion. Even those who do not consider themselves very fashionable can use the clothes and accessories they wear to make a statement. Consider these ideas to get started!
Perhaps you have had an aunt or close relative succumb to their battle with breast cancer. Or maybe you’re a survivor yourself. You can use the color pink—which is the official color of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October—to show that this cause is near and dear to your heart while raising awareness.
Many illnesses, conditions, and causes have an official color that represents their organization, making this an easy, personal, and subtle way to showcase what means the most to you.
Whether you care about fair wages or vegan materials, you can find and support businesses that share your ideology and put it into action.
Here at Passion Lilie, we offer our customers unique clothing, accessories, and homeware that are both stylish and ethical. We are a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation, and we provide fair wages, safe working conditions, and dignified employment to the artisans in India who work with us.
Passion Lilie is also eco-friendly. We use environmentally responsible materials, such as organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO cotton and azo-free dyes. In addition, we employ sustainable practices that use natural energy and reduce our water consumption and waste.
By purchasing from companies that share your beliefs, you can support your favorite causes financially while also sharing your priorities with the world around you.
Expressing your views can be as simple as getting the right words, images, or hashtags printed on a piece of clothing. Political fashion does not have to be subtle, and many of today’s trends make it easy for you to shout loud and clear what you believe in.
T-shirts, bags, and hats are all common articles of clothing that can be used to express a political sentiment. These items allow you to be proud and confident in your own belief system, and they give you an opportunity to express yourself in a way that is blunt and unapologetic.
Regardless of what you believe, you have the ability to use the clothes you wear as a way of expressing yourself. Fashion is about more than just matching colors or flattering a figure. Fashion is a way to express who you are inside, sharing yourself and even your beliefs with the world.
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.
Handwoven fabrics are a great way to practice sustainability in style. At Passion Lilie, we offer a range of clothing and accessories made from handwoven fabrics to suit anyone’s tastes. Want to learn more about the benefits of handwoven fabrics? Check out our comprehensive guide below!
You might be wondering, how do handwoven fabrics fit in with sustainability? Handwoven fabrics are made by hand using a handloom, which does not require electricity or produce any pollution. In addition, the lack of automation presents weavers with many more opportunities to reduce waste and engage in sustainable practices.
At Passion Lilie, we take this a few steps further to make our handwoven fabrics even more environmentally friendly. Our process is dedicated to preserving the environment through the use of natural energy, waste reduction, and water reduction. Our artisans wash fabrics by hand in local waterways, dry them in the sun, and use any leftover pieces for other handicrafts or accessories.
As a fair trade company, Passion Lilie also creates a sustainable environment for our workers. All of our clothing is made by fair trade artisans, which means we pay them fair wages, offer them stable employment with time off and other benefits, and ensure they are working in safe, healthy, empowering conditions. These opportunities permeate our artisans’ communities as they spend their profits in their local economies, start their own businesses, and share their skills. This leads to sustainable societies and a better world for all of us, even the most disadvantaged. Learn more about our artisans or how you can support the fair trade movement today.
Our sustainability isn’t the only thing that sets Passion Lilie’s handwoven fabrics apart. Many of our handwoven fabrics are also colored through an ancient ikat dyeing process. “Ikat” originates from the Indonesian word “mengikat,” meaning to tie, bind, or wrap around. It uses reactive dyes—the same dyes used for modern tie-dye—and bindings that resist dye penetration to create beautiful and original patterns before weaving. These dyes are especially resistant to bleeding, which keeps them bold and vibrant. Watch the video below or read more to learn about Passion Lilie’s handwoven ikat fabrics.
Due to their intricacy and lack of use by mainstream, fast fashion retailers, many people have questions about handwoven fabrics. And we have the answers!
Compared to knitted fabrics, woven fabrics are much more stable when it comes to shrinking and do not react as severely to stresses. A small amount of shrinking is still possible, so if you’re concerned about shrinking, we recommend using cold water and laying flat to dry.
Unlike synthetic-based knit fabrics, which are made from one continuous thread and stretch all over, woven fabrics only stretch diagonally—or as we say in the sewing world, on the bias—giving them enough flexibility to be comfortable while still feeling sturdy and looking fitted.
Of course, comfort is subjective and largely depends on the materials being used and the wearer’s preferences. That being said, many of our customers have commented on how soft and comfortable our handwoven cotton fabrics feel.
This depends on your sensitivity and on the materials being used, but handwoven fabrics are no itchier than any other fabrics. At Passion Lilie, our handwoven cotton fabrics do not itch. Handwoven fabrics also tend to breathe much better than polyester and other synthetic fabrics, making them more comfortable.
It’s finally October! Besides the beautiful weather outside, all of the fun fall festivals, and the changing of the seasons, something else exciting is also happening: Fair Trade Month. Read on to learn more about this annual opportunity to celebrate and spread the word about the fair trade movement.
Founded back in 2011 by Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade Month serves as a way to raise awareness about the fair trade movement and its importance to our global economy. It also encourages consumers to shop from fair trade businesses instead of businesses that hurt the environment and their workers. Every October, fair trade companies, Fair Trade Towns, and those who support the movement create promotions, events, and other celebrations in honor of Fair Trade Month.
With celebrations happening all over the country, there’s no shortage of ways to participate in Fair Trade Month, and New Orleans is no exception. As a fair trade company whose apparel and accessories are designed in New Orleans, Passion Lilie is committed to supporting fair trade in New Orleans and beyond. Show your support during Fair Trade Month and all year long in New Orleans by making fair trade and sustainable purchases from these businesses.
– When you don’t feel like cooking, fill up on a variety of healthy and sustainable fair trade dishes at Cafe Rose Nicaud in the Marigny.
– With two locations within the city limits (plus one in Metairie and one in Mandeville), healthy food megastore Whole Foods offers a diverse and wide range of fair trade foods for a tasty and nutritious way to show your support for the movement.
– New Orleans Food Co-Op prioritizes fair trade products when available, especially fair trade certified chocolate and coffee. If you become a member, you also have a say in how the cooperative is run, allowing you to have an even larger impact on the food in your community.
– According to Fair Grinds Coffeehouse, it is the sole coffeehouse in New Orleans that is 100% fair trade. All of its chocolate, coffee, and tea is fair trade, so head to one of two convenient locations in Mid City and the Marigny.
– Gourmet donut shop District Donuts only uses Stumptown Coffee, which is fair trade and even has its own location right here in New Orleans. Visit your nearest District Donuts in Uptown New Orleans, Lakeview, Elmwood, or even Baton Rouge.
– Located on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., Orleans Coffee House serves a range of fair trade and organic certified coffees. It also has an espresso bar on Prytania Street.
– Good Karma is a café in Mid City that specializes in plant-based food and drink. Even better, all of its coffee is fair trade and organic.
– Get your Mardi Gras merch early with recycled beads and throws from Arc of Greater New Orleans. It’s a great way to save money, reduce waste, and provide jobs to workers with disabilities.
– Need a great pair of shoes? Feet First is an independent shoe retailer voted “Best Shoe Store in New Orleans” nine times and counting. It carries a variety of local products, including fair trade accessories and apparel from Passion Lilie.
– Shop for a variety of fair trade clothing, such as the Snuggle in Chevron Sweater shown above, right here at Passion Lilie. We also sell fair trade accessories, homeware, and stationary. To learn about the many benefits of buying fair trade clothing, read our blog post.
Supporting the fair trade movement is a terrific way to empower workers across the globe and contribute in your own way to a fairer and more equal Earth. Showing your support for fair trade can encompass a whole host of activities, from supporting local economies to purchasing fair trade products and reducing your environmental footprint. Not only will you feel better for making fair trade purchases, but you can enjoy better quality products than those available from sweatshops. Read on to learn how you can support and grow the fair trade movement today.
Fair trade is a movement among businesses that seek to uphold certain economic, social, and environmental standards. Fair trade companies support the protection of workers’ rights and the environment with fair pay, safe working conditions, and sustainable processes. To ensure that a brand claiming to be fair trade is living up to those standards, organizations such as the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) exist to confirm businesses that actually enact fair trade practices. Passion Lilie has also created a handy ethical shopping guide to help consumers determine if a company supports ethical, fair trade practices.
There are plenty of reasons to support the fair trade movement, but these are a few of our favorites:
Ready to show your support for the fair trade movement? Here are a few great ways to get started:
For unbeatable comfort and style, choose our fair trade Hex Flex Men’s Button Down Shirt. We use soft, breathable, poplin cotton to make this sturdy, comfortable, machine washable shirt. Meanwhile, the geometric pattern and carefully tailored fit make this shirt a great choice for everything from a day in the office to a night out with friends.
This canvas bag is the perfect eco-friendly, fair trade tote for carrying groceries, gym clothes, your laptop, and whatever else you might need. Our trendy elephant design is block printed with a hand carved wood block using vibrant, environmentally friendly dyes.
As an eco-apparel company, Passion Lilie is wholly devoted to making fair trade products designed in New Orleans and handcrafted in India. Purchasing clothing, accessories, homeware, and even recycled greeting cards from Passion Lilie is a chic and unique way to show your support for the movement while looking good too. Visit our website to view our full line of eco-apparel and other products, and start supporting fair trade now!
Sustainable dinner parties are a great way to show your love for the environment and have fun doing it. While many people assume that throwing a sustainable dinner party simply consists of using local and organic ingredients at your next hosted dinner, there is so much more to it than that. Reusable, sustainably made dishes, utensils, and napkins not only add class to any dinner, but minimize your environmental footprint. These eco-conscious dinners offer a fun, tasty, and effective way to convince your nearest and dearest to go green through the persuasive power of a good meal. Learn how to plan your own sustainable dinner party with environmentally friendly cuisine, cloth napkins, and more today.
The first essential to any dinner party highlighting responsible agriculture is eco-friendly eats. Consider these tips:
The next step in planning for your sustainable dinner party is to source sustainably made dishes, silverware, and napkins to accompany your meal. If you need disposable items, there are a number of companies online that offer plates and utensils made with sustainability in mind. You can also check out local shops and artisans to supply the tools your guests will need to enjoy the feast you’re preparing for them.
One of the best sources for sustainable cloth napkins is the collection available from Passion Lilie. We are an eco-friendly, fair trade brand that offers a variety of apparel, accessories, homeware, and more made by empowered artisans in India. As an ethical brand, we ensure our artisans receive fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and long-term employment. By purchasing our high-quality, sustainable cloth napkins, you can reduce your impact on the environment while also supporting fair job opportunities in India. Browse all our napkins or get started with the two recommendations below.
These gorgeous cotton napkins make it easy to give up paper! Their salmon color complements earthy tones for a subtler look or teal tones when you’re feeling bolder.
With their appealing dotted pattern and neutral colors, these cotton cloth napkins can turn any meal into a special occasion.
Of course, no dinner party would be complete without a great outfit to go with it. When hosting a sustainable dinner party, it’s only natural that your environmentally friendly choices extend to your wardrobe as well. Luckily, Passion Lilie is just the place to get your eco-chic apparel. Consider these looks for your next dinner party.
This stunning wrap dress from Passion Lilie comes in a navy, patterned, organic jersey material that is sure to get everyone’s attention and make you the life of the party. With its soft and stretchy fabric, this dress leaves you feeling comfortable all day long while still showing off your curves in a fitted silhouette.
Want to go fun and funky? These lightweight pants show off your fashion sense with a mid-calf leg and zigzag pattern. The gray and black colors keep your look sophisticated, giving these pants the ideal balance of style and professionalism for more casual work environments, professional events, and dinner parties.
As a premier eco-apparel and home goods brand, Passion Lilie is ready to help you on your path to greater, greener living. Contact Passion Lilie with any questions, and get started on your next sustainable dinner party the right way today.
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.