On a Fulbright Scholarship, tonlé founder Rachel Faller saw the human and economic impact of fast fashion first hand. Upon her return, she set out to forge a kinder path with her zero-waste clothing company. They make beautiful apparel from after-market fabric remnants and garment scraps. Their mostly female Cambodian employees are paid far more than competitors and have excellent benefits.
Founder Rachel Faller is not just an incredibly kind person and talented designer; she is a pioneer of the sustainable fashion movement. Not a fiber is wasted in the company’s production, with loose scraps swept into paper making and woven into yarn for hand-knit and woven pieces, both clothing and housewares.
As tonlé says:
We design and produce sustainable, wearable clothes that are as original and beautiful as the people who make them. We adhere to principles 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’ve spent years crafting a zero-waste design process that incorporates leftover scraps of recycled materials into original looks. Our workshops on the ground in Cambodia are structured in small teams, where staff work on a variety of different products, contributing creatively in a positive working environment… In a constantly shrinking world, we believe you need the people who make your clothes as much as they need you, and we aim to connect people on opposite ends of the supply chain through our transparent policies and marketing.
The winner of our 2017 UnDreamed Of Award, tonlé continues to innovate. Untours Fouundation Co-CEO Elizabeth Killough has introduced tonlé to other investors, and our Board Co-President, who works for the fashion industry, has been a mentor to the company’s founder.
Listen in on our Zoom discussion with Rachel Faller.