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A zero-waste fashion label producing in Cambodia. We design comfortable, wearable clothes that are as unique as their makers.
A zero-waste fashion label producing in Cambodia. We design comfortable, wearable clothes that are as unique as their makers.
296 backers pledged $23,042 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$23,042

296

Thank you so much to all of our backers who have helped us to reach our initial goal within only 4 days. We are so touched by all the support! Thanks to you, we've been inspired to add a few new goals that will help to support the growth of tonlé further in the US and Cambodia. Read on to find out more. 

What is tonlé?

tonlé is an innovative fashion label based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 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 while earning fair wages and benefits. 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.

What will the investment be used for?

1. Officially launch tonlé in North America.

For the past five years we’ve been primarily selling in our Cambodian boutiques and through a handful of international retailers, mostly in Europe and Australia. Launching in the US and Canada is something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Your backing is going to help us overcome the costs and challenges of doing so, launching first as an online shop and later through other channels.

2. Set up a new workshop in Cambodia. 

We are also going to earmark funds to open a new workshop on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, in a community with which we love working. This new workshop will not only help us scale our production capacity to meet growing demand, but also to create many more life changing jobs in a community where such opportunities are scarce.

NEW stretch goals: 

Since we were able to reach our initial goal within just 4 days, we've been inspired to dream a little bigger. The 10,000 that we raised was the minimum that we needed to get the US arm of our business off the ground and support the growth of one of our workshops in Cambodia. With additional help, we would like to do the following: 

1. Fund new training opportunities for our staff including in management, health and safety, sewing, and pattern-making. 

2. Purchase additional equipment that we need for our workshops which will help to simplify production and create new styles.

3. Obtain 3rd party certifications to verify our business to our clients, through internal and external auditing. While we've been able to gain much headway with transparent policies and open marketing, we'd really like to have this backed up by a 3rd party such as Fair Trade (or the like, we're doing research now on the best options!) so that we can provide more proof that we're really doing what we say we are. We appreciate the trust of our network and those who have been able to personally visit our workshops, but we know this is not enough as we continue to grow. Certification is a time consuming and expensive process that requires a lot of research and preparation in addition to capital. With your support we believe we can achieve this important goal. 

If we can reach our new stretch goal of $30,000, we'll be able to attain the above 3 points over the next few months. 

Why should I support?

Friends and loyal customers of our boutiques in Cambodia have been asking for a while now to make our products available to a larger audience, especially online. Being based in Cambodia has made that difficult. In addition to challenges with international shipping and local banking, we first wanted to guarantee our supply chain was solid. We are now confident in our production and we're ready to establish wider distribution – but we need your help to make it happen.

tonlé A/W 2014 designs
tonlé A/W 2014 designs
And… since at the end day we are a fashion company (and it doesn’t hurt to have something pretty while you're changing the world, right?) we’re offering our backers a number of beautiful handcrafted rewards. So take your pick from our most popular items listed below, some of which are from our new collection and offered exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign! Whether as a gift for someone you care about, or something special for yourself, know that you’ll be supporting a great cause.

Guaranteed holiday delivery

All rewards will be shipped in early December to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas. If you're interested in multiple items, just give the appropriate amount and we'll send you a survey at the end of the campaign so that you can let us know what you have chosen, as well as specific color and size choices.
tonlé basic tote made from remnant canvas
tonlé basic tote made from remnant canvas
Unisex t shirt with a print inspired by a map of Phnom Penh, made from comfy cotton jersey remnants
Unisex t shirt with a print inspired by a map of Phnom Penh, made from comfy cotton jersey remnants
Bassac Necklace, made from tiny scraps of remnant jersey with handmade ceramic beads
Bassac Necklace, made from tiny scraps of remnant jersey with handmade ceramic beads
The Takeo Scarf, a tonlé design handwoven by the Cambodian Weaving Village. This piece mixes remnant cotton threads with the tiniest scraps of waste fabric from our production
The Takeo Scarf, a tonlé design handwoven by the Cambodian Weaving Village. This piece mixes remnant cotton threads with the tiniest scraps of waste fabric from our production
The Dara Tote: handwoven fabric made from tiny scraps of fabric with a sturdy metal zipper and vegan leather handles. This bag is part of our next collection, but due to it's popularity we're offering it as an exclusive reward for our backers!
The Dara Tote: handwoven fabric made from tiny scraps of fabric with a sturdy metal zipper and vegan leather handles. This bag is part of our next collection, but due to it's popularity we're offering it as an exclusive reward for our backers!

For more information, visit our website, or follow us on facebook, instagram, pinterst, and twitter to get all the latest updates. 

Special thanks to Peteris Tenisons for our video!

Photography by David Collins and Balazs Maar

Risks and challenges

We’ve spent 5 years building a great team on the ground in Cambodia who are fully trained in making our products, and now we’re at a point where we need to scale that production. There are always challenges with growing a business, but we’re confident that we have the team to do it and that we can grow our production while maintaining the ethics and quality standards that we built our company upon to date.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A set of three handmade cards with unique screen prints. Our hand-crafted paper is made with 100% recycled materials left from our production.

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    17 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A classic tote made from remnant canvas with a quintessential tonlé print: a vintage sewing machine design. Proudly rep tonlé at the farmers' market, secondhand book shop or the beach.

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    50 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A unisex t-shirt made from remnant jersey cotton, printed with a creative interpretation of the city where it was made, Phnom Penh.

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    62 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Choose between two of our most popular products: 1. The Takeo Scarf: handwoven from remnant cotton threads and tiny pieces of scrap fabric. 2. The Bassac Necklace: fabric “rope” made from tiny scraps of fabric and hand-made ceramic beads from locally dug clay. Both items make great gifts.

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    87 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    The Dara Tote: We haven't even released this bag yet, and though it is due to launch in 2015, so many people have been trying to get their hands on one that we've decided to offer it as an exclusive reward to our backers. Using fabric that is handwoven out of scrap materials, combined with remnant canvas details, a handwoven reed mat bottom, a sturdy metal zipper, and vegan leather handles, this bag is as ethical as it is beautiful.

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    37 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    For the tonlé enthusiast: Work directly with a tonlé stylist to pick out 2 complete outfits (6 pieces in total) to suit you perfectly, in style and fit. You'll have exclusive access to designs that are otherwise not available online.

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    12 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    For the designer at heart: collaborate with the tonlé design team on an item for our next collection that will be named after you. See first hand how the whole process happens and take home 10 of your item to give to friends and family.

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    2 backers
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Funding period

- (24 days)