Zero-Waste Fashion with tonlé Design | #FashionForGood Friday

June 3, 2016·

Today’s #FashionForGood Friday brand is one of the most unique brands I have ever encountered. tonlé Design is an ethical fashion brand that focuses on empowering their workers, while also producing ZERO-WASTE.

What do I mean, zero-waste? I mean, literally zero-waste. They produce no waste. EVERYTHING is recycled. EVERYTHING. It’s amazing!

From tonlé:

There are generally two strategies for zero-waste fashion: creative pattern making that uses 100% of a given material, and generating garments from remnant materials. The only approach that we felt truly honored our sustainability philosophy was a marriage of the two.

The journey of a tonlé product begins in an unlikely place: a heaping pile of factory scrap material. Our design team frequents the remnant material markets to scavenge through piles of factory castoffs before they end up in landfills. Creativity is key, as size, color, texture, and material continually vary. But we don’t stop there. tonlé designers work side by side with the production team to plan collections that incorporate even the tiniest scraps into original looks. Our excess fabric strips are tediously hand cut and individually sewn back into yarn. The yarn is then knit and woven into new pieces; articles of clothing made from twice-recycled fabric.

Working in this fashion leaves 2-3% waste, which is pretty good, considering a typical factory can average 40%. But we weren’t satisfied. This led us to pioneer a formula for making our own recycled paper, which combines tiny scraps of fabric, paper left from our office and pattern making, and natural glue. This closed the loop in our production and brought our waste down to nil. So, when you purchase a tonlé product, check for tiny threads in your hangtag and know that it was put there with both you and our planet in mind.

How amazing is that?!

Tonle Design "Tess" Wrap Dress, Tribe Alive Weekender Bag, Sela Designs necklace, Nickel and Suede earrings, The Root Collective Shoes | North Carolina Fashion & Style Blogger | Ethical and Fair Trade Fashion (8)

A while ago I shared some facts about textile waste, which is a massive problem in the world… tonlé’s mission is to END that problem and make a positive impact with the clothing, bags, and accessories they produce.

Some amazing facts about tonlé

  • Currently they are recycling 22,000 pounds of fabric… PER YEAR! That’s about the weight of two Asian elephants!
  • They are prevent 154,000 pounds of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere each year…
  • Saving 46,000,000 (yep, that’s MILLION) gallons of water a year! 

This is the look I wore for the first day of the Southern Women’s Show!

"Dressing with Purpose" Ethical Fashion Show at the Southern Women's Show in Raleigh, North Carolina 2016 | triFABB and Still Being Molly | North Carolina Fashion & Style Blogger (10)

This SUPER comfy top is from tonlé and I wore it for the Root Collective photoshoot last year!

The Root Collective Fall 2015 Lookbook (18) The Root Collective Fall 2015 Lookbook (16)

The beautiful Joanne rocking some amazing joggers from tonlé!
The Root Collective Fall 2015 Lookbook (17)
Check out this awesome video that shows a little bit more about the heart and the story of tonlé…

Isn’t that amazing? I LOVE seeing the process behind their clothing and I love seeing how there’s so much heart and soul that goes into what they produce. It’s so unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a company before.

Wanted to show y’all a few other amazing things… here are some of my favorite items that tonlé carries right now! So. Many. Gorgeous. Pieces!

tonle-design-products-photo_0014 tonle-design-products-photo_0013

What about you? Have you heard of tonlé design? Which items are your favorites?