San Francisco / Phnom Penh
tonlé is one of the world’s first completely zero-waste fashion brands. We design and make comfortable, wearable clothing that is as original and beautiful as the people who make it. We adhere to principals of transparency, fairness, and waste reduction in everything we do, from the big stuff like wages, down to the little things like the materials in our buttons. We’re on a big mission, and we need your help.
It’s challenging to compete in an industry that traditional relies on low margins, exploitation of people, and destruction of the environement. But with very little capital, tonlé has grown rapidly over the last two years, thanks to dedicated champions who care about our mission, a number of high profile press mentions, and buyers who like our products not only because of the story behind them, but because they are comfortable and stylish. But there is so much more to do, and that’s why we are raising funding to take our business to the next level.
We are attending a trade show in August (NY Now) which is one of the highest profile home and gift shows in the United States. Ramping up for the holiday season, we expect a higher volume of sales at this show and need to produce inentory to prepare for it. In regards to a timeline, we anticipate higher sales of this inventory in October through January, which is why we have chosen the timeline in our plan.
The garment industry is the world’s second biggest polluter and throws away about half of what it produces in wasteful manufacturing. Imagine if we could cut this pollution in half just by wasting less? tonlé is out to prove that it’s possible. Using remnants discarded by large manufacturers, we produce beautiful, comfortable garments, and use every scrap of our own, creating 0% waste. In doing so, in just one year we have saved 10,000 kg of textiles, 70,000 kg of CO2, 200 kg of pesticides, and 46,296,600 gallons of water. And we’re just getting started.
People centered design
tonlé employees earn well above the local minimum wage, and are provided with benefits and extensive training. We take job creation a step further by offering career opportunities to employees, where entry-level makers can move up to managerial roles. We want to foster an environment where our employees enjoy working, feel confident to rebuild their lives, and can express themselves freely. In a constantly shrinking world, we believe everyone is connected, and that you need the people who make your clothes just as much as they need you.
tonlé’s clothing and accessories are loved around the world for their versatility, comfort, and style. tonlé is currently sold in 10 countries, has received numerous press mentions, and has a dedicated international following. We’re on a mission to prove that beautiful products can be made without human rights abuse and environmental destruction. We hope you’ll join us.
About the owner
tonlé is currently 100% owned by founder and CEO, Rachel Faller. Rachel is an entrepreneur and creator who has been working in the ethical fashion industry for over 8 years. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts in the US and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. Armed with her art degree and idea that fashion shouldn’t have such a high cost for people and the environment, she moved to Cambodia on a Fulbright grant to do research on sustainable fashion and fair trade. Her research led her to start KeoK’jay in 2008, her first ethical fashion label, that was later re-branded as tonlé. Tonlé has become Cambodia’s first zero-waste fashion brand, with a team of 50 staff, retail stockists in 10 countries, 4 of it’s own boutiques, and a growing press following to attest to tonlé’s growing popularity. Rachel is recognized internationally as an industry leader, having been selected to participate in LA Fashion Week in 2010 and featured in a number of press outlets including Huff Post Live, CNN international, Channel New Asia, Forbes Online Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor and more. After 7 years of living in Cambodia, Rachel is now based in San Francisco and continues to work on building the tonlé brand from the United States.
Please have a look at this short video to learn about the process behind making a tonlé product!
We’ve taken great care to design each of our collections around scraps that are cast off from the garment factories in Cambodia, and then using every single scrap in the process. At the same time, we design these products to be stylish and modern, while taking inspiration from the culture in which they were created, Cambodia. This handwoven long vest was one of our most popular items at the trade shows last season, and it was hand-woven from tiny scraps of remnant fabric:
Our best selling pieces are basics like our t shirts and t shirt dresses, which are uniquely printed with our custom designs. Some of our products, like the t shirt dress below, are also naturally dyed, with non-toxic, plant based dyes:
tonlé also makes a range of accessories, including scarves, bags, jewelry, and homewares. Many of them contain handwoven fabric, such as this dara tote which is also handwoven from tiny scraps of remnant fabric:
We take great pride in every step of producing a product and promote transparency across our supply chain.