Brand Spotlight: Tonlé

At EcoVibe, we love it when other people, like us, see fashion differently. This can be anywhere from the way it is produced, to the way it is worn, or what it's made out of. We like to recognize brands that are going above and beyond to do good by the planet and by people. One of our favorite brands that we carry in-store, Tonlé, produces zero-waste products, practices by ethical standards, and makes sure that every thread counts. Tonlé, a brand that was founded in Cambodia, was created based off of the basic principles that fashion could mean more than exploitation of people and resources.


Tonlé is unique and special for a lot of reasons. They have a very specific mission to be a zero-waste, ethical brand, making sure every thread matters in the production process. This is a company that is doing everything they can to make sure that their fashion pieces are as carefully considered and cared for as the people making them.



Generally, there are two strategies for zero waste fashion. Either creative pattern making that uses 100% of a given material, or generating garments from remnant materials. Tonlé decided to combine the two and create fashion that was truly thoughtful and takes all of this into consideration. It starts with their design team going to the markets in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is where pre-consumer textile waste is thrown away by large brands to then be collected and re-sold. Then, designers back at the Tonlé's sewing workshop will work to design styles around a larger cut of fabric. The small scraps of fabric leftover are individually sewn back into yarn, which will then be used in hand woven new pieces of clothing made from twice recycled fabric. After this process, the small amount of waste that is left is mixed with the paper from their office to create their own handmade paper. On top of all of this, they also naturally dye all of their pieces and use the left-over dye materials as fertilizer in their garden. All of their products are wrapped in 100% recyclable packaging. At the end of this process it leaves Tonlé with ZERO WASTE which we think is amazing! 



Tonlé uses 100% recyclable materials for their packaging. 


The idea behind every thread matters is to encourage the thought process of using all of the material without being wasteful at any point. This goes for product, energy, and people. Tonlé prides themselves on recently converting their workshop to run on solar power. They also care about the people that are making the product. Everyone has good working conditions and is paid fairly. Tonlé cares not only about getting you the best product they can, but the process it takes to get it to you as well.



All of the fabrics they use are recycled materials from other big apparel industry factories. Some of the smaller items included in the clothing such as buttons and beads, come from local Cambodian organizations that also practice fair trade. They have carefully and thoughtfully planned out every step of production to make sure each piece gets the maximum benefit and has the smallest environmental footprint.

Tonlé’s products are handmade and their smallest waste scraps are carefully hand cut and sewn back together to make yarn. From there, it is either hand woven or knit into new products. 

When screen-printing, they use non-toxic, water based inks as well as some natural dye paste inks. To make pieces fit together in a collection, the owner, Rachel Faller, will design all of Tonle’s prints by hand. This makes each piece unique and one of a kind made just for you!



Knowing all of this we asked ourselves, what is the main problem Tonlé is trying to solve? Fast fashion is a trend that does more harm than good. Tonlé’s main goal is to bridge the gap between fast fashion and slow fashion. With fast fashion comes wasteful production, low wages, and unsafe working conditions. All of these create devastating consequences for all parties involved. Buying fewer and high quality items will help the people and the planet in the process.

Tonle Flatlay

The Basic T-Shirt Dress in Black Fern


Now you can see that there are so many reasons that we LOVE Tonlé! They are truly going above and beyond in caring for people and the planet. We encourage you to take a look at the selection of Tonlé products we offer here at EcoVibe. They are unique, stunning, easy to wear and one of a kind! Make a difference and shop purposefully.