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Ethical fashion brand Passion Lilie is making a difference, one garment at a time

They create affordable, high-quality clothing using sustainable and eco-friendly methods with a focus on fair trade practices and artisanal techniques.

Ethical fashion brand Passion Lilie is making a difference, one garment at a time

Editor's Note: Passion Lilie is an affiliate partner of Upworthy and we earn a portion of revenue from these partnerships.

People often perceive Fashion as an industry that prioritizes profit over people. But Passion Lilie is challenging this notion. It’s an ethical fashion brand committed to creating beautiful and sustainable garments through ethical fashion. They create affordable, high-quality clothing using sustainable and eco-friendly methods with a focus on fair trade practices and artisanal techniques.

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The Passion Lilie Story

Passion Lilie was founded in 2013 by Katie Schmidt, a fashion lover with a passion for sustainability and social responsibility. She always loved the world of fashion but was also aware of the industry’s negative impact on people and the environment. So she started Passion Lilie to create change and make a positive difference.

The brand began as a small collection of handmade clothing created in partnership with fair trade artisans in India. Since then, Passion Lilie has grown into a full-fledged fashion brand known for its unique designs and commitment to ethical fashion. The brand's mission is to create clothing that is beautiful, sustainable, and socially responsible. This mission is inspired by the idea that fashion can be a force for good.

Ethical Fashion

Passion Lilie approaches ethical fashion with three key principles: sustainability, social responsibility, and affordability. The brand is committed to minimizing its environmental impact by using eco-friendly materials and processes, such as organic cotton and natural dyes. In addition, Passion Lilie partners with fair trade organizations and artisanal communities to ensure that its garments are ethically made. Finally, Passion Lilie strives to make its clothing affordable because ethical clothing shouldn’t just be for the wealthy.

Passion Lilie is not just a fashion brand; it's a movement toward a more sustainable and equitable future. The company’s commitment to ethical fashion is reflected in every aspect of its business, from sourcing materials to producing garments. The brand's designs are inspired by nature and traditional textile techniques, giving each garment a unique and timeless quality. By choosing Passion Lilie, consumers can feel good about their purchase, knowing that they are supporting a brand that is making a positive impact on the world.

Ethical Manufacturing

Passion Lilie is a brand committed to ethical manufacturing practices. The brand's commitment to fair trade is a core mission. It partners with fair trade organizations and artisanal communities to ensure its garments are made ethically and sustainably. By working with fair trade organizations, Passion Lilie ensures that its workers are paid fair wages and have safe working conditions. The brand's commitment to fair trade is not just about meeting basic standards but about creating a better future for all those involved in the manufacturing process.

Artisanal Techniques
Passion Lilie's garments are made using traditional artisanal techniques, which give each garment a unique and timeless quality. By working with skilled artisans, the brand creates clothing that is not only beautiful, but also sustainable and socially responsible. These techniques include hand block printing, hand embroidery, and hand weaving, which are all labor-intensive and require a high level of skill. By incorporating these techniques into its manufacturing process, Passion Lilie supports artisanal communities and promotes the preservation of traditional textile techniques.

Sustainable Materials

The brand uses organic cotton, which is grown without harmful chemicals and is better for the environment and the people who grow it. The brand also uses organic dyes that do not contain toxic chemicals. In addition, Passion Lilie is committed to minimizing its environmental impact by using energy-efficient production processes and reducing waste. By prioritizing sustainable materials and production processes, Passion Lilie sets a new standard for the fashion industry and proves that it is possible to create beautiful, sustainable clothing made with respect for people and the planet.

Sustainable Practices

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, with significant environmental impacts from textile production, dyeing, and transportation. Passion Lilie recognizes the urgent need for sustainable fashion practices and is committed to reducing its environmental impact. The brand's approach to sustainable fashion is grounded in the principle of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” The brand's production processes are designed to minimize waste and reduce energy consumption. Passion Lilie also emphasizes durability and quality in its designs, encouraging customers to buy fewer, higher-quality garments that will last for years.

In addition to using organic cotton and organic dyes, the brand also incorporates recycled materials into its designs. Passion Lilie uses recycled cotton , made from textile wastage. The brand also uses eco-friendly printing practices and packaging materials, minimizing its carbon footprint and waste.

Through its focus on sustainable materials and practices, Passion Lilie is setting an example for the fashion industry and demonstrating that it is possible to create beautiful, high-quality garments that are also environmentally responsible.

Empowering Women

The world of fashion has historically been dominated by men, and women have faced significant barriers to entry and advancement. By partnering with women-led initiatives and supporting women's education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship, Passion Lilie is helping to create a more equitable and inclusive fashion industry. Passion Lilie is also committed to promoting diversity and representation in its marketing and advertising and actively seeks to feature women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds in its campaigns. By prioritizing women's rights and equality, Passion Lilie is leading the way in creating a more just and sustainable fashion industry.

The brand is also committed to empowering women in India. The brand works with women-led initiatives and provides them with a platform to showcase their skills and talent. These partnerships enable them to support women's education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship and help break down gender barriers in the fashion industry.

Current Impact, Future Progress

Passion Lilie’s fans rave about the brand's unique designs, high-quality fabrics, and comfortable fits. Customers frequently share their purchases on social media and tag the brand, generating a buzz around its products. But the company’s community engagement goes beyond social media. Their impact on customer awareness of ethical fashion extends beyond its brand, inspiring customers to make more informed and intentional choices when it comes to their clothing purchases. After learning about Passion Lilie, many customers report being more conscious of the impact of their clothing purchases and actively seeking out brands that align with their values.

Passion Lilie is dedicated to staying at the forefront of sustainable fashion practices, and the brand is constantly exploring new ways to innovate and reduce its environmental impact. This includes using more eco-friendly materials in its products, developing new techniques for recycling and repurposing fabric waste, and exploring new partnerships to increase sustainability across the entire supply chain. As the fashion industry continues to evolve, Passion Lilie is committed to remaining a leader in ethical and sustainable fashion practices.

It's important to remember that our purchasing decisions have an impact beyond just the item we're buying. By supporting ethical and sustainable fashion brands, we're promoting a culture of conscious consumerism that can have a ripple effect on the industry as a whole. By supporting brands like Passion Lilie, we can create a more equitable and sustainable future for everyone.

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Three women, three MS journeys: How multiple sclerosis looks different for everyone

Gina, Nathalie and Helga share their reactions to being diagnosed with MS and how they stay informed and positive in the face of ever-changing symptoms.

Courtesy of Sanofi

Helga, Nathalie and Gina all have MS, and their experiences show how differently the disease can manifest.


It’s been 155 years since neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot gave the first lecture on a mysterious progressive illness he called “multiple sclerosis.” Since then, we’ve learned a lot. We know MS causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue, including damaging the brain and spinal cord. Resulting symptoms can be debilitating and include fatigue, blurred vision, memory problems and weakness. Huge advancements in our understanding of MS and its underlying causes, as well as treatment advances, have been made in the past few decades, but MS remains a complex and unpredictable reality for the 2.8 million+ people diagnosed around the world.

Ironically, the only real constant for people living with MS is change. There’s no set pattern or standard progression of the disease, so each person’s experience is unique. Some people with MS have mild symptoms that worsen slowly but sometimes improve, while others can have severe symptoms that drastically alter their daily lives.

All people with MS share some things in common, however, such as the need to stay informed on the ever-evolving research, find various lines of support and try to remain hopeful as they continue living with the disease.

To better understand what navigating life with MS really looks like, three women shared their MS stories with us. Their journeys demonstrate how MS can look different for different people and interestingly, how the language used to talk about the disease can greatly impact how people understand their realities.

woman with horse, woman riding horseGina loves riding her horse, Benita.Courtesy of Sanofi

Gina—Hamburg, Germany (diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2017)

When her youngest son was 4 months old, Gina started having problems with her eye. She’d soon learn she was experiencing optic neuritis—her first symptom of MS.

“Immediately after the diagnosis, I looked up facts on MS because I didn’t know anything about it,” Gina says. “And as soon as I knew what could really happen with this disease, I actually got scared.”

As her family’s primary income provider, she worried about how MS would impact her ability to work as a writer and editor. Her family was afraid she was going to end up in a wheelchair. However, for now, Gina’s MS is managed well enough that she still works full-time and is able to be active.

“When I tell somebody that I have MS, they often don't believe me the first time because I don't fulfill any stereotypes,” she says.

Overwhelmed by negative perspectives on living with MS, Gina sought support in the online MS community, which she found to be much more positive.

“I think it’s important to use as many positive words as you can when talking about MS.” It’s important to be realistic while also conveying hope, she says. “MS is an insidious disease that can cause many bad symptoms…that can be frightening, and you can't gloss over it, either.”

To give back to the online community that helped her so much, Gina started a blog to share her story and help others trying to learn about their diagnosis.

Though she deals with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction sometimes, Gina stays active swimming, biking, riding horses and playing with her sons, who are now 11 and 6.

Cognitive dysfunction is common in MS, with over half of people affected. It can impact memory, attention, planning, and word-finding. As with many aspects of MS, some people experience mild changes, while others face more challenges.

Gina says that while there’s still a lot of education about MS needed, she feels positive about the future of MS because there’s so much research being done.

woman in wheelchair holding medal, woman rowingNathalie is an award-winning rower with multiple international titles.Courtesy of Sanofi

Nathalie — Pennes Mirabeau, France (diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2002)

Nathalie was a teenager and a competitive athlete when she noticed her first symptoms of MS, but it would take four years of “limbo” before she was diagnosed.

“Ultimately, the diagnosis was more of a relief, than a shock,” she says. “Because when you have signs and you don’t know why, it’s worse than knowing, in the end, what you have.”

However, learning more about the disease—and the realities of disease progression—scared her.

“That glimpse of the future was direct and traumatic,” she says. Her neurologist explained that the disease evolves differently for everyone, and her situation might end up being serious or very mild. So, she decided to stop comparing herself to others with MS.

She said to herself, “We’ll see what happens, and you’ll manage it bit by bit.”

By 2005, Nathalie’s MS had progressed to the point of needing a wheelchair. However, that has not dampened her competitive spirit.

Nathalie began her international rowing career in 2009 and has won multiple world titles, including two Paralympic medals—silver in London and bronze in Tokyo. Now, at 42, she still trains 11 times a week. Fatigue can be a problem, and sometimes hard workouts leave her with muscle stiffness and shaking, but she credits her ongoing sports career for helping her feel in tune with her body’s signals.

“Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to my body, letting my body guide when I need to stop and take breaks,” she says.

Nathalie explains that she used to only look backwards because of the initial shock of her diagnosis. In time, she stopped thinking about what she couldn’t do anymore and focused on her future. She now lives in the following mindset: “Even when doors close, don’t miss out on those that open.” Instead of focusing on what she can’t do, she focuses on the opportunities she still has. Right now, this includes her training for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, where she will compete for another rowing medal.

“I only go forward,” she says. “Well, I try, anyway…It’s easy to say, it’s not always easy to do. But that’s what I try to do.”

woman exiting water after swimming, woman with great daneHelga's Great Dane has become a helpful and beloved companion.Courtesy of Sanofi

Helga—Johannesburg, South Africa (diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2010)

When Helga first started having balance issues and numbness in her feet, she chalked it up to her training as a runner. But when the numbness moved to her face, she knew something was wrong. She never guessed it was MS.

“When I was diagnosed, I felt completely overwhelmed and clueless,” Helga says. “I felt that I had nowhere near enough information. I did not know anything about the disease…I had no idea that it was going to be a process of continually monitoring and adjusting your lifestyle.”

In the beginning, Helga’s symptoms developed slowly, and she didn’t appear ill to others. She was even able to run for a few years after her diagnosis, but she couldn’t do marathons anymore, and she began to fall frequently due to balance issues and right-foot dragging. Then her cognition issues became more problematic, especially in her job as a trainer in a printing company.

“My executive function, decision-making and short-term memory were affected to the point that I was eventually medically unfit for work,” she says. She stopped working in 2017.

However, she didn’t stop living life. Even though she could no longer run, she continued to swim competitively. She got a Great Dane puppy and trained him as a service dog to help her walk. She also serves as vice chair of the patient support organization Multiple Sclerosis South Africa, and she advises others who have been diagnosed to join a patient advocacy group as soon as possible to get reliable information and meet others with MS.

Helga says she is “hopeful” about the future of MS. “I must say that I am so grateful that we have all the new medications available, because my life would not be the same if it wasn't for that,” she adds.

Part of how she manages her MS is by looking at the positives.

“If I could tell the world one thing about MS, it would be that MS is an incurable disease of the nervous system, but it's also the greatest teacher of valuing your health, family, friends, and managing change in your life,” she says. “My life is diversified in a way that I never, ever thought it would, and MS has been honestly the greatest teacher.”

Each MS journey is unique – with each person impacted experiencing different struggles, successes, and feelings as they manage this unpredictable disease. But the common thread is clear – there is a critical need for information, support, and hope. We are proud to participate in World MS Day and share these incredible stories of living life while living with MS. To learn more about MS, go to https://www.sanofi.com/why-words-really-matter-when-it-comes-to-multiple-sclerosis.


This article was sponsored by Sanofi. Participants were compensated when applicable.


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