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CaliLu Creates ‘Freedom Top’

The California-based apparel brand has launched a partnership with human rights organization Not for Sale.

The Freedom Top from CaliLu's partnership with human rights organization Not for Sale.

The Freedom Top from CaliLu's partnership with human rights organization Not for Sale.

Courtesy Photo

California-based apparel brand CaliLu has launched a partnership with human rights organization Not for Sale with the creation of the Freedom Top. To be sewn by survivors of human trafficking at the CaliLu partner factory in India, all wholesale costs and a portion of retail sales of the top will be donated to the Not for Sale organization by the brand’s founders, Cali Norton and Lucille McGovern.

Norton and McGovern decided to join other like-minded brands such as British fashion retailer AllSaints Spitafields after attending the Montara Circle think tank in Amsterdam, where discussions included workers’ safety issues at factories in Bangladesh and putting a stop to human trafficking. Not for Sale creates tools that engage business, government, and grass roots organizations to grow social enterprises that benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities, said Norton.

“We were inspired by Not for Sale’s hands-on initiative, and we feel passionately about the fair-trade stamp of approval. We have had the opportunity to be on the ground in India and work with some survivors. We take pride in this partnership and hope to bring awareness of this important cause,” said Norton.

Suggested retail for the reversible orange-beige top is $96. The company has preordered 250 tops and plans to cap it at 500 units. The Freedom Top will be sold this spring and summer at notforsale.org, caliluclothing.com and two specialty stores: Therapy in Miami and Blue & Cream in East Hampton, N.Y.

Regarding the top’s design, McGovern said, “We love the simple halter with an open back, as it represents a feeling of freedom. The orange is a nod to Not for Sale’s colors, and the reverse neutral, cream color lends versatility to the garment. The use of the five wooden beads down the back align with the [yoga] chakras and are ethically sourced, keeping with our brand identity of an ethical and conscious lifestyle that translates to a positive spirit.”