Five Ways Raven + Lily Cares for People & the Planet

Five Ways Raven + Lily Cares for People & the Planet

Posted by Kirsten Dickerson on 25th Apr 2016


Celebrating our love for people and the planet

As a company, Raven + Lily is deeply focused on preserving our beautiful planet by being very thoughtful about the way we produce our designs, as well as the types of materials we choose to use for our collections. This includes working with a carbon neutral, fair trade factory, using upcycled and remnant materials, eco-friendly and natural dyes, and organic and sustainable materials.

This past Sunday marked the 3-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed over 1100 garment worker in Bangladesh. We want to encourage and thank those of you who continue to support companies who produce ethical and fair trade fashion, while caring for workers' health, safety, and quality of life. As Raven + Lily grows, we are able to offer more women opportunities to rise above poverty and work in an environment where they are valued. The number of artisans we employ through our partnerships has increased by more than 50% this past year alone. 

Five ways Raven + Lily contributes to People and the Planet

1. Eco-friendly clothing

As a company, we deeply focus on preserving our beautiful planet by being very thoughtful about the way we produce our designs as well as the types of materials we choose to use for our collections.


  • Carbon Neutral Factory on a wildlife preserve supports the entire community through job creation, fair trade wages and sustaining practices that benefit both the people and the land.
  • Organic cotton sweaters, grown without using any chemical fertilizers or pesticides from non-genetically modified plants.
  • Remnant recycled clothing made in a zero waste facility by women who are rising above poverty and sex trafficking through employment and fair wages.

2. Eco-friendly jewelry

For the Ethical Fashion Forum, the meaning of ethical goes beyond doing no harm, representing an approach which strives to take an active role in poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood creation, minimising and counteracting environmental concerns. (Source)

  • Our Upcycled/Recycled Brass Jewelry collection comes from brass that is re-purposed for our beautiful designs.
  • Artisans use upcycled horn and brass to create a luxe jewelry collection full of substance, while not letting any materials go to waste. These artisans create one of a kind pieces with intricate details by hand.
  • Artisans melt these shells down to produce handmade, delicate silver, copper, and brass beads. The beads go through several stages to achieve the final polished look, and then they are taken to the women in our jewelry partnership on Entoto Mountain

3. Fair trade wages

Artisans receive a fair wage, which is at least that country’s minimum wage. Since the minimum wage is often not enough for basic survival, workers are often paid a higher wage approaching a living wage, which enables them to cover basic needs, including food, shelter, education and health care for their families.

Fair Trade Principles:

  • Creating opportunities for economically or socially marginalized producers
  • Develop accountable and transparent relationships
  • Build Capacity
  • Promote fair trade
  • Pay fairly and promptly
  • Support safe and Empowering working conditions
  • Ensure the rights of children
  • Cultivate environmental stewardship
  • Respect cultural identity

4. Artisan made goods

One of the distinguishing traits of Raven + Lily apparel and accessories is that the items are handmade. We don't work with factories and we don't mass produce in the typical "fast fashion" way. We also don't make crafty items. We make gorgeous, modern designs that reflect the beauty and culture of the women in our partnerships.

Employing women to use their artisan skills to make our exclusive collections means that we are:

  • Preserving traditional culture and craftsmanship
  • Demonstrates the beauty of the culture
  • Unique designs - becoming increasingly rare in the fast fashion world
  • Skills are passed on through generations and seen as relevant and valuable by youth (rather than outdated)

Committing to high quality products

  • Every design is made by skilled artisans and often takes many hours (or even weeks) to create
  • Our products are meant to last so they are sustainable and fashionable for many years

Practicing Accountability

  • We know the hands that make each item
  • We are involved in the sourcing of the materials
  • We know the management/people that run the operations as they are our partners
  • We know there is no outsourcing
  • We visit frequently, do yearly impact reports, have regional production coordinators, and hire outside auditors to monitor our production practices
  • We are a certified and registered Benefit Corporation (B Corp) and do an extensive audit every 2 years through B labs

5. Supporting Women Artisans

Employing women to use their artisan skills to make our exclusive collections means that we are providing sustainable income opportunities for at-risk women through fair trade practices

  • Long term partnerships that employ women to use her artisan skills
  • Access to healthcare, education for her children, and a caring environment promotes dignity

“When women are empowered to earn an income, they reinvest 90 per cent of their income back into health, education, food, children, family, and the community.” - United National Girls’ Educating Initiative (

We are in this business to see women break cycles of poverty and develop long term partnerships to see women empowered. If this isn't happening ,we aren't interested in continuing....and I'm not joking one bit.

That's something we can be proud to own, proud to wear, and proud to share.