About half of Passion Lilie’s scarves and tote bags are produced at a block printing unit in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and they are printed through the art of Kalamkari, which uses natural plant or vegetable based dyes.
The block printing workshop started in 1969 by a hand loom weaver and now his two sons have taken over. Both brothers are not only dedicated and extremely knowledgeable on this art form, but they are also good, trustworthy people who have created an amazing and uplifting working environment.
The workshop regularly employ about 10 women and men from a variety of religious backgrounds: Muslim, Christian and Hindu. Despite the religious differences, they all work in peace together. Some artisans have been with the workshop for as long as 35 years.
Thanks to the work that this workshop has provided, the artisans are living above poverty, but many of their neighbors in the small village are struggling and in poverty. Not only does the workshop pay fair wages that are above the national minimum average and above what other workshops are paying, but they also offer many benefits.
* One new saree (typical Indian dress) with petticoats per year
The other half of Passion Lilie’s scarves are block printed in Jaipur by a fair trade organization that employs about 10 highly skilled block printers. These men receive an above average salary, paid sick and holiday leave, assistance in obtaining health insurance and loans if needed.
The block printing unit where the scarves are printed was started by Abdul’s father in 1980 as a carpet business. Abdul took over the business in 1990 and began working with block printers. Abdul is a smart man who pays attention to industry trends while ensuring that his employs receive the best care possible. Katie works closely with Abdul in development of new designs. Abdul makes sure that his workers receive adequate time off for the many holidays and festivals in India and he even gives them a small bonus or gift during the main holidays.