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#SustainableSunday with Tonlé...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Something that y'all may not know about me is that I started making my own clothes during my sophomore year of high school.  My undergraduate years of college were spent studying both fashion design and merchandising and once I graduated, I moved to NYC to work for an online retailer.  While my life path changed and I ended up in education, I still enjoy doing a good bit of sewing every once in a while, but what really drives me bananas is what to do with my scrap fabric.  

Aside from using it to make re-usable cloth gift bags, I generally end up with all sorts of random bits and pieces of fabric that I can't bear to throw away, but have a hard time finding a use for.  You know who doesn't have this problem?  The folks over at Tonlé!  The entire purpose behind this brand is to be both zero waste AND fair trade, and heck... based on this outfit, I'd say that they've got a pretty amazing handle on things.  

Yes, Green Bees, over at Tonlé, what they do is rescue scrap fabric that is left over from mass production factories.  Instead of being another brand that needs to produce more fabric, they both remove that demand AND save tons of fibers from ending up in landfills.  Oh yes, and they do this all in a fair trade setting, meaning that the people who actually make their garments are paid a fair living wage and are able to, for example, have approved sick leave (which often isn't the case in mass merchandising plants).  

All of the garments in this outfit come from Tonlé and I can tell you that I feel wonderful about each and every piece.  I'm wearing their Dara dress as a top here, but already have multi-seasonal plans for it both as a wardrobe base and as a layering piece.  The dress is fully lined and is made from lightweight cotton remnant fabrics.  This one dress being made from remnant fabrics has managed to save 146.2 days of drinking water, according to Greenstory statistics!  The trousers in this look were created from cotton jersey remnants and were perfect for a bit of a wander downtown (followed by lounging around my apartment), and will soon be work as a stylish but comfortable airplane outfit!  Oh, and they saved 480 worth of drinking water and a half a pound of pesticide.  The piece de resistance in this outfit has got to be the long vest.  It was hand woven from strips of different colored remnant fabrics and it is a true thing of beauty.  I was able to make it work into an outfit on a 110 degree day in Vegas but can also easily see it transitioning into early fall with black jeans and booties and it will certainly be the perfect extra layer for spring! If you're keeping track, the production of just one of these vests saves 813 days of drinking water.  

Be sure to head over to the Tonlé website and take a look at their newest collection!  It's got all sorts of fun colours that are perfect for summer! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 

: the earrings are handmade from repurposed metal
: the necklace is handmade
: the bracelets are handmade
: the ring is handmade
: the dress, trousers, and vest are all handmade as zero waste products and are fair trade
: the sandals are made from recyclable materials

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