Tonlé brings zero-waste women’s fashion to SF

Today’s trends may be tomorrow’s trash. But it doesn’t have to be that way — just ask Rachel Faller.
The 31-year-old San Francisco designer is the brain behind Tonlé, a line of women’s clothing made entirely from surplus fabric discarded by apparel manufacturers after clothing has been cut and trimmed. Not a scrap of the factory castoffs she uses is sent to the landfill.
This is a process known as zero waste, a radical notion that forward-thinking fashion-industry types are finally waking up to. Faller cuts large scraps down to make clothing like tea-length wrap dresses, coats and tops, while smaller scraps are spun into yarn-like material to be woven into other new clothing. Whatever’s left, even the smallest scraps, is made into gift cards, notebooks and hang tags.