Tonle Zero Waste Clothing: Reviewing 3 Items

Leah wears a yellow tank top and checkered pants from Tonle Zero Waste Clothing

Ethical Details: Top – thrifted; Pants – Srey Pov Trousers – Krama c/o Tonle; Sandals – Deux Mains

Tonle Zero Waste Clothing

This post was sponsored by Tonle and I received items for review.

It’s been my unofficial policy on StyleWise to request only one or two products for review when I take on sponsored collaborations. It’s not that I don’t want lots of shiny new things, it’s just that my closet could quickly spiral out of control if I acquired dozens of things each month.

But I have to say, I am SO glad Rachel at Tonle sent me three varied products to try, because it gave me a sense of the way Tonle’s zero waste pieces function as stand-alones and as part of a collection.

And I’ve gotta say I am really feeling myself in these pieces. They embody the balance of form and function I look for, and the purposeful silhouettes help create a fit that feels custom.

Leah wears a yellow tank top and checkered pants from Tonle Zero Waste Clothing

The Srey Pov Trousers

Made of a lightweight cotton, the limited edition Srey Pov trousers feature flared legs and a drawstring waist with elastic at the back. The front drawstring can be adjusted for the correct fit, then left tied when you’re ready to remove them since the back stretches, which helps create a custom fit. I’m wearing the trousers in a size medium, which fits my butt perfectly without pulling.

Why I’m a Tonle Super Fan

Tonle is a fair trade, zero waste fashion brand based in Cambodia.

  • They produce their entire collection out of remnant materials from larger factories
  • They strategically cut patterns to reduce waste
  • They sew scraps into “yarn” to produce woven clothing
  • Remaining scraps that are too small for yarn are combined with paper and natural glue to make hang tags
  • Employees are honored and paid fairly
  • Natural dyes are used on all textiles dyed in-house
  • Orders are shipped in 100% recycled packaging
  • Tonle uses local models and women of color in their advertising and product photos

Every. single. thing. has been accounted for in Tonle’s business model. And their clothes are statement-making without being unwearable or unflattering.

Leah wears a blue wrap dress from Tonle Zero Waste Clothing

Ethical Details: Dress – Pich Wrap Dress – Navy Diamonds c/o Tonle; Sandals and Necklace – thrifted

The Pich Wrap Dress

Made with a stretch cotton that’s both durable and soft, the Pich Wrap Dress has a vintage-inspired neckline and a customizable fit thanks to the wrap silhouette. I’m wearing a size small and the fit is just right.

Leah wears a woven top with black jeans from Tonle Zero Waste Clothing
Leah wears a woven top with black jeans from Tonle Zero Waste Clothing

Ethical Details: Top – Srey Crop Top – Granite c/o Tonle; Jeans – Everlane Cheeky Straight Jean; Sandals – thrifted

The Srey Crop Top

One of Tonle’s signature woven pieces, the crop top has a wide, asymmetrical fit and is made with handwoven fabric scrap “yarn,” which makes the piece feel much more like wearable art than mere clothing. It’s classy and classic in spite of how off-kilter it’s origin may be, and I feel really beautiful in it.

Final Thoughts

Tonle sets the standard for functional, fashion-forward clothing that is authentically sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly. You don’t need a Master’s Degree to get what they’re all about – it’s clear as day.

This is the type of transparency and thoughtfulness that leads to industry change, because it doesn’t require explaining, finagling, or excuses. It is good, plain and simple.  How refreshing to know – really know – that something is good. No fake news, no slick marketing. Just good.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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  1. I must say that I think Tonle is of the worst run businesses that I have ever encountered . Rachel is way over her head, selling items and not delivering them, and expecting customers to put up with being ignored and lied to. Concept is wonderful but execution is very poor.

    1. I wonder if this is a relatively new issue brought on by various organizational changes over the past few years. I’m really sorry you experienced this!

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