We love seeing brands that completely disrupt the game. Tonlé might be our new favorite game-changer — a zero-waste fashion label based in Cambodia. In 2008, Boston-born Rachel Faller landed in Cambodia on a Fulbright scholarship to do research on fair trade and sustainable fashion. That experience inspired her to establish Tonlé, a socially and eco-conscious company that produces unique, stylish clothing with the smallest amount of waste humanly possible… which is absolutely none.
How do they make the clothes without any waste?! We learned in their very informative Kickstarter video that 100 million pounds of textiles are buried, burned or otherwise trashed in the name of efficiency. Rather than letting it hit the landfill, Tonlé scavenges through this scrap fabric and uses these recycled materials to create original looks. Then, they take the scraps from those designs and make paper out of them for tags and whatnot, so there’s literally no fabric that ever makes it to the landfill from their factory. Currently, they are saving 22,000 pounds of fabric waste, 154,000 pounds of carbon emissions and 46 million gallons of water annually. They hope that their crowdfunding campaign will allow them to expand their efforts and prevent even more resources from being wasted.
The good vibes don’t end with the zero-waste concept. The company’s staff is structured into small teams in a collaborative environment — earning fair wages and benefits, of course. They strive for full transparency in everything that they do, and they want all parts of the fashion supply chain to be an honest representation of what’s really happening.
Oh, and did we mention their clothes and accessories are beautiful? They certainly don’t look twice-recycled, if that’s what you’re wondering. They’ve been funding via Kickstarter and reached their goal in only four days (there are still a few weeks and plenty of special gifts left if you’d like to contribute). We are obsessed with their Dara tote, which is an exclusive award for backers who pledge $120 or more. If you miss your chance to get one early, they will be releasing these totes as part of their 2015 collection. Phew.
When was the last time you reduced, reused or recycled your wardrobe? Let us know in the comments!