By Eleni McCready, Lilly Pulitzer
Lilly Pulitzer, founder of the eponymous apparel company, once said, “if you haven’t any charity in your heart, then you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” This spring, Lilly Pulitzer was proud to collaborate with the Rainforest Alliance to carry on Lilly’s legacy of giving by launching our Prints with Purpose charitable giving program. To match the mission of the Rainforest Alliance, the program focused on a capsule collection of apparel items in a fabric pattern dubbed “Jungle Hoppin” – filled with tropical birds, animals, flowers and, yes, frogs. Store signage, hang tags, web pages, social media, emails and other marketing tools promoted the “Jungle Hoppin” collection and shared the Rainforest Alliance message with our customers and Rainforest Alliance members. Sealing the commitment, Lilly Pulitzer made a financial contribution to advance the important work of the Rainforest Alliance.
We LOVE organizations that are working to make the world a sunnier place, and the Rainforest Alliance was an easy selection to launch this program. Why was this an easy selection? Here’s the story—buckle up, it’s a fun one that we love to tell (and ask any Lilly lover—she’ll be happy to ‘spill the juice’ on our history, too!).
We should start back in 1959 to give you the full picture—Lilly Pulitzer was in her early twenties, living on the beautiful island of Palm Beach with her husband, raising her family, and looking a for project fill her days. Her husband’s family owned most of the citrus groves in Florida so she started a juice stand selling fresh-squeezed juices. This wasn’t any juice stand—it was in the perfect location of Via Mizner, just off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach aka a shopping paradise and the center of town. Lilly’s juice stand was the place to pop in and swap stories and while this was all well and good… Lilly was spilling juice EVERYWHERE and worked with her dressmaker to create something that was easy to throw on, lightly lined (it’s hot in Florida and who really needs too many layers…), and done in bright pinks, greens, and oranges to hid the juice stains. Hello shift dress! Her friends started to love her dresses even more than the juice and then things took off… and the rest is history.
You’re asking yourself by this point – how did this bring us to the Rainforest Alliance? Let us explain. Since the very beginning of this brand we have had the most creative people on the planet — the Lilly Print Designers — hand painting every single print that is part of our collection. Each print is an original and Lilly prints are easily identified by their happy colors, optimistic content, and signature Lilly “hand” that it’s painted in—and the word “Lilly” is hidden in every single print (it’s not easy to find but it’s there—give it a try!). The Lilly print designers are inspired by our home of Palm Beach, resort destinations, ocean life, flora, fauna, and animals from all over the world.
“Jungle Hoppin” was inspired by a Print Designer team trip to the Costa Rican rainforest, and we wanted to share this special print with the Rainforest Alliance and support their efforts through a capsule collection designed to give back. The Rainforest Alliance was our first Print with Purpose and it was a great success — in the first week of launch the “Jungle Hoppin” maxi dress (shown in this photo) was our number one seller! The Prints with Purpose program is now live with our second partnership, this one with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, and stayed tuned for another exciting one later this year
Follow our Print with Purpose program here and join us in a big thank you to the Rainforest Alliance for launching this program with us – and for all their important work to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place.