how we work

Fair Trade Production

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Passion Lille's Partner Groups

We work with five different partner groups in India who align with our ethics and sustainability goals. Our partners nurture a positive and supportive environment so each individual feels valued and respected.

We strive to develop long-term relationships with partners that have the capacity to grow with us. We have learned from our partners through the years and work closely with them to continuously improve the quality and durability of our goods.

How We Choose our Partner Groups

All partner groups are carefully vetted by Passion Lilie. We use the Fair Trade Federation's (FTF) screening process as a guideline for establishing relationships with new partner groups. We vet potential partners with a series of questions created by the FTF and follow up with an in-person visit with those that pass our initial screening. 

The apparel production unit we work with is certified by the Fair Trade Labeling Organization and has their Global Organic Textlie Standard (GOTS) certificate. While not all of our partners are fair trade certified (often because it is such a costly, complex process), using the FTF's screening process allows us to screen and select producer groups that employ fair trade practices

Producer Pay & Benefits

All producers at minimum must receive: a living wage*; overtime pay (that's higher than their regular pay); paid vacation, sick leave, and government holidays; low- to no-interest loans; and a safe work environment without descrimination. 

Passion Lilie's producer groups have high-employee retention rates, with some staff employed for a decade or more. Many of our producer groups pay two to three times the minimum wage while overtime pay is two times an employee's regular salary. Overtime work is completely optional.

Partner groups often educate producers about the benefits of savings accounts and teach them how to open an account. Many of the artisans open their first bank account with support from our partner groups.

* The Global Living Wage Coalition’s (GLWC) definition for a living wage:

The remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing and other essential needs, including provision for unexpected events.

Our Producer Groups

Block Printing

Most of Passion Lilie’s block prints are produced at a block printing studio in the middle of Bangalore on a lake surrounded by trees. While it's in the heart of the city, the setting is quiet and peaceful. It started in 1977 with a mission to preserve block printing in a holistic environment, with ethical labor practices, and eco-friendly dyes. The studio was the first artisan studio to receive ISO 26000 certification. 

The studio's owner, Padmini Govind, is an artist and a wonderful partner to collaborate and design with. She always has her team of block printers interests as a top priority. The studio's community outreach program trains specially-abled artisans. Our recycled greeting cards support this program.

The raw fabric used for block printing is from mills in Southern India.

Learn more about the block printing process >

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Ikat Weaving

closeup of ikat weaving on loom
ikat weaving on handloom
hand working on loom on an ikat weaving

Since 2017, we've been working with a family-run business that employs weavers in several different villages outside of Hyderabad. In 2016, Mahesh, one of the founder's sons, helped the business enter the export market. As they've expanded to work with brands like Passion Lilie, they've been able to increase the villages they work in and the number of artisans they employ. 

In these villages, many families have between one to three power or handlooms. Their traditional weaving skills have been passed down from one generation to the next. By designing products with ikat weaving, we are helping to keep this traditional craft alive.

Learn more about the ikat weaving process >

Shop ikat woven products >

Recycled Handwoven Fabrics

weaver in bangalore

In 2020 Passion Lilie began working with a handloom weaving studio that upcycles textile "waste" into usable cotton. This leftover cotton is shredded into fibers and spun into 100% cotton by using 30% recycled cotton and 70% organic cotton. 

The studio is in southern Bangalore. They have 25 looms and 16 weavers, 13 of whom are women. It is unusual to have so many female weavers in India. Handloom weaving can be labor intensive as the whole body is needed to move the shuttle and the treadle, so the maximum number of shafts used is 4 to not put pressure on the weavers. Because handloom weaving is more demanding, we focus on simpler design—stripes and plaids in beautiful colors—instead of more intricate designs.

Shop recycled cotton products >

Apparel Production

Once fabrics have been block printed or woven, they're sent to our production team in Tirupur. Passion Lilie has been working with Girish Krishnan since 2016. Girish is passionate about using organic fabrics—it's thanks to Girish that we were able to introduce GOTS certified organic jersey to our collections. Girish is skilled in garment construction and works closely with Katie during her visits to perfect the fit of each new silhouette. 

In 2021, Girish moved his facility to a new, bigger building with solar panels. The extra space has allowed him to increase capacity and employ more tailors. Currently, Girish employs about 8 tailors, a master cutter and has staff to help with ironing and packaging the final garments to be shipped to New Orleans.

Shop Passion Lilie apparel >

Scarf Production

Many of Passion Lilie’s scarves are block printed in Jaipur by a fair trade organization that employs about 10 highly-skilled block printers. The block printing studio where the scarves are printed was originally a carpet business started in 1980 by the father of current owner, Abdul Safi. Abdul took over in 1990 and now works with his brother employing artisans in the Rajasthan region. 

Abdul is always eager to create new designs with Passion Lilie. We recently worked with him on some Shibori-dyed fabric used in our Marley Organic Cardigan. Shibori dying is traditionally done by women. We are excited to find a new technique that supports and employs more women.

Shop Passion Lilie scarves >

Kutch Weaving

Kutch weaving, also known as Marwada style, is a 600 year-old tradition from the district of Kutch in Gujarat. Kutch, a word which signifies a mix of two different things (both wet and dry simultaneously), is the essence of modern-day Kutch weaving. 

Like many other crafts of India, it has been passed down by generations of artisans who have profound knowledge and expertise. We work with an organization that partners with kutch weavers in remote villages. At the moment we have a small collection of scarves that use kutch weaving, but we hope to have more products in the future to support these ancient traditions and craftsmanship so they can continue to be passed onto future generations.

Shop kutch products >