tonlé is Cambodia’s largest ethical apparel brand, making comfortable, wearable clothes that are as unique and beautiful as the people who make them.
CEO and designer, Rachel Faller started tonlé in December 2013 as a matured version of her previous company, KeoK’jay, with many of the same team members. Rachel had a vision and felt that it was possible to make clothing ethically, something that you would want to pull out of your closet and wear every day and above all clothing that you felt good about buying. She believed that the term “garment manufacturing” didn’t have to be associated with the abuse of human rights and environmental destruction.
Rachel has spent years crafting an innovative, zero-waste design process that incorporates using left-over scraps of materials and turning them into original and uniquely attractive designer clothes. Products are made by small teams of sewers, printers, dyers and weavers who earn good wages and benefits. The workers love making the clothes and it is a given that the buyers love wearing them. Mostly recycled materials and remnant fabrics are used to make a dent in the massive waste being tossed aside by large manufacturers. tonlé’s design team handpicks these fabrics on a monthly basis, ensuring that each design is totally exceptional, just like the person who makes it.
Employees work in creative teams in a safe and comfortable Phnom Penh workshop while earning fair wages and benefits. tonlé aims to connect people on opposite ends of the supply chain by providing employee bios and using un-retouched images of staff members as models on its forthcoming site. Since its launch, tonlé’s popularity has steadily grown with two retail boutiques and a dedicated international following, prompting the launch of online retail in Australia and the US this year.
By using recycled materials and a unique zero-waste process, each year tonlé’s production saves 10,000 kg of textiles from clogging landfills, 70,000 kg of CO2 and 200 kg of pesticides from entering the environment and averts the use of 46,266,600 gallons of water.
tonlé has 50 employees, three workshops, two boutiques (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap) and six international stockists carrying women’s apparel, accessories and home-ware.
The price of the eco friendly, 100% vegan clothes ranges from USD 45-100.
Here is what Rachel Faller the CEO of tonlé feels, “The world is only getting smaller and we’re all deeply connected; the people who make your clothes need you as much as you need them. We want to strengthen those connections through what we’re making – and we hope you’ll join us.”