Most of Passion Lilie’s block prints are produced at a block printing studio in Bangalore that is surrounded by trees and a lovely lake that truly inspires creativity. This block printing unit started in 1977 with a mission to preserve block printing in a holistic environment, with ethical labour practices and eco-friendly dyes.
The artisans are paid a well-above average salary as well as overtime, paid vacation, sick leave, loans and government holidays as needed.
The manager of the block printing unit, Padmini, recognizes that “unless we pay fair wages it is no possible for the artisans to sustain and support their families.” Padmini is an extremely carrying woman who puts the needs of her workers first and treats them like family. Their senior staff has been with the studio for over three decades.
|Padmini partnered with the State Government Women's Welfare Board to provide free training to underprivileged women. 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.|
|The youngest printer, Satish, joined the team as an apprentice about 8 years ago. He had not completed schooling and was not skilled in any trade. His father was a carpenter earning a meager income. After being mentored by the senior printer, Satish is now a master printer. He supports his parents, owns a nice motorbike and is proud of his earnings.|
This block printing studio prides themselves on living up to the highest level of eco-friendly standards while creating a beautiful product that does not bleed or fade when washed.
Passion Lilie also uses many handwoven and ikat dyed fabrics that are purchased from a family of handloom weavers that live in a village outside of Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The family owns three small houses, which act as weaving and dyeing units. They employ 5-10 workers at a time depending on the demand at an above average salary. Some of the workers are illiterate and some our educated, but all are from the local village.
Passion Lilie is the first and only foreign company this family works with. The family is more than thrilled to have the regular work that Passion Lilie provides. Katie is continually working with them to improve their fair trade practices. For example, based on Katie’s advice, they made it a priority to make sure all workers wear gloves while dyeing to protect their skin. In addition, during each visit, Katie provides design assistance in developing new patterns.