Making Zero-Waste Fashion Choices with tonlé

Making Zero-Waste Fashion Choices with tonlé

Zero-Waste Fashion

You’ve probably seen zero-waste lifestyle bloggers all throughout Instagram and Pinterest. They and the brands behind them are leading the way for a new type of lifestyle that is changing the way we think about consumption. Zero-waste Fashion has two different strategies. The first is pattern making that using 100% of the fabric and the second is making clothing from leftover fabrics. There are several different types of leftover fabrics, from deadstock to cut-offs, and pre-consumer waste textiles, there is also post-consumer waste textiles.


I’m really excited to introduce tonlé, a zero-waste fashion brand that does both at attainable prices. I’ve looovvvved the brand for ages. They use 100% of the materials and they source from remnant fabric. They don’t waste any of their “wasted fabric.” It’s the perfect circle-of-life model for all, ALL, the waste materials we already have in the world. The styles are simple, elegant, and breezy. Inspired by their Cambodian base and handcraft techniques.

What I’m Wearing

I’m wearing the long kaftan in off-white. The kaftan also comes in blue, pink clay and black. It’s a cotton-gauze fabric that is sourced from local markets in Cambodia and it’s plant-based! They are certain that it is 90% plant-based because of a burn test they perform. In terms of wearability. Living through the Turkish summer meant I wore this all the time. The fit is loose. You hear all the time that natural fabrics that are loose make a difference, but it takes 104 F+ days with 100 percent humidity to start remembering those truths again. I’d wear it to coffee and to the beach every weekend because it felt so nice in the constant heat.

The Production

In addition to being from remnant fabric, which already saves on the carbon footprint of the fabric, the kaftan saves, .5 lbs of pesticides, 480 days worth of drinking water, and 21.6 miles of emissions in terms of carbon when compared to conventional production practices. techniques like handweaving and screen printing save on electricity and water. Their production facility also uses fair trade practices employment practices and earth-friendly energy-efficient solar power as well.

What is tonlé doing to help the rainforests?

This month the whole world has had their eyes on the burning Amazon rainforests. tonlé has been watching and is working to plant over 1,000 rainforest trees in the rainforests of Cambodia to help protect their own Cambodian rainforests and promote overall conservation. Check out the initiative here.

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