I had the pleasure of being invited to a launch party for a friends new children’s clothing line this past weekend. It was a beautiful summer day in Woodinville WA. The brand is Lila. As I walked into the canopy that held samples of all of the handmade artisan items I noticed there was only one line sheet. Reena, who is the founder of Lila, explained to be how she is striving to consciously be as “green” as possible while empowering women. Listening to her describe the conditions in India, where the clothing is made, was refreshing. She was so enthusiastic and motivated to be a change in the world that it is hard not to be excited with her.
The event was beautiful, with an eclectic Bohemian feel to it. There was a table, with charmingly hand written signs about Lila. Samples of the collection were on display. Looking at the line, it has a vintage look and finish. The items were soft and you can see the hard work and detail that goes into every single piece. These are not what you see at most children’s clothing stores.
The environmental movement, which began in the 1960’s; was originally concerned with things like hydrogen bomb testing, the pollution of the Great Lakes, and oil spills. It has developed into much more as we have grown and seen what can happen when we are not environmentally or ethnically attentive to what businesses we support. Few clothing companies have morality for what their products are doing to not only the planet, but to their “employees”. The thing that sets Lila apart from the crowd is the employees. This isn’t a huge conglomerate that has 3 factories with thousands of employees who get paid pennies an hour. This is four women, like you and me, who just need to feel important and empowered. They hand knit every item on their own time, which makes it easier for them to do what every other mother needs to do daily. They have time to cook, clean, take care of the kids, and are making their own money on the side in an area of the world that is impoverished. We all know that racism plays a part in everyone’s life. It doesn’t matter what color you are or where you come from, we have all seen it and know it is wrong. What about women? Why do we hear about prejudice about race, religion, or sexual orientation but women are getting paid 75 cents on the dollar of men? How is 50% percent of the population somehow considered lesser? It is time for women to stand up, have their voices heard and empower themselves. That is what Lila brings to the table.