Through Tonlé’s zero-waste design and production model, all pre-consumer textile waste is used to make fashionable everyday clothing.

Tonlé creates zero-waste fashion collections out of surplus fabric from larger manufacturers, who usually waste about 11% of the fabric through inefficient cutting patterns. Based in Cambodia, Tonlé achieves zero-waste by combining creative pattern-making with a process of generating new garments from the surplus fabrics. Tonlé uses more than 97% of the fabric it receives, and turns the excess into paper instead of discarding it.

We’re a small company, a drop in the bucket, but we can make a statement to the industry that we need to value the materials and the labor that went into them.

Rachel Faller – Founder and CEO, Tonlé

Tonlé offers employees much better working conditions than what is commonly found in the Cambodian garment industry. According to the company, employees are paid more than the local minimum wage and are part of a flexible assembly line, meaning they can develop numerous skills and advance from entry-level workers to the managerial level.

Why you should care

In 2014, Tonlé succeeded in diverting 10 tonnes of textiles from ending up in landfills. 90% of the fabric it uses is pre-consumer textile waste, and the remaining 10% is composed of upcycled components of local garment waste. By using recycled raw materials rather than virgin materials in its production, Tonlé saves energy and water, and reduces environmental pollution.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Clean Water and Sanitation

According to Tonlé, the company’s production process saved approximately 175 million liters of water and 200 kg of pesticides in 2014.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Workers are paid well above the minimum wages and are offered a comfortable and safe working environment.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Tonlé’s recycling process creates value by using textile waste to provide fashion consumers with more ethical and sustainable alternatives.