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.
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.