Tonlé FAQs in the time of Covid-19
Like most of you, we're adapting to a new normal just about every day here at tonlé. Overall, we're doing ok, and we're incredibly grateful for the support we've received from our community! Thank you so much for your orders, donations to our team, and kind words. It is keeping us going right now in more ways than one. Here are some answers to the most pressing and common questions we've been receiving.
How are you doing? How is the tonlé team doing?
We’re taking it day by day, probably like many of our community members! The majority of our business was selling to independent retailers, so with all of our partners having to shut their doors, it has dramatically affected our business as well as theirs. Thanks to a few retailers who have been able to continue selling our products online and many amazing customers who have donated, purchased, and contributed in other ways, we are going to be able to keep our team in Cambodia employed full time for the foreseeable future. We are very grateful for that and we will depend on on-going e-commerce orders to keep this going. We want to do everything we can to support our community of independent retailers as well so we’ll be encouraging people to check out their pages and support businesses in their communities whenever possible.
Where can I find a list of your retail partners?
Glad you asked! It’s right here.
What’s the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia?
We are doing everything we can to protect our team in Cambodia. Thankfully, the cases of Covid-19 have been relatively low in Cambodia. We have asked all of our highest risk team members to work from home to protect their own health and safety, and a few of our team members are coming in intermittently to work in the workshop, with distancing and adding cleaning procedures in place. We have also been able to give all of our team members an extra food and emergency supply stipend in addition to their normal salaries, so they are able to purchase supplies in case the situation worsens.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Yes and thank you so much for offering! Orders on our online shop mean so much in this trying time! A kind comment, share or follow on our social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest) also goes a long way. By the way, did you know you can earn tonlé points for doing so? Learn more about our tonlé activist program here.
Did you forget my order?
Most likely, no! We’re just a bit backed up because we have only one person who can work from our US office where our orders are shipped. Most orders are going out in between 3-15 days right now. Mask orders are taking a bit longer, because they are pre-ordered, whereas everything else is in stock. But if you’re unsure or just want to say hello – please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sending your order number or email address helps to track down your order details quickly!
Can I still get masks?
Yes! We have a limited amount that we can produce and ship before the end of the month. Currently there is a 3 week lead time. We are producing them and shipping them as fast as we can. If you order came in prior to April 3rd it will be going out the week of April 13th. Larger orders are being shipped directly from Cambodia and smaller orders will come to San Francisco first and then be shipped to you.
Where are your mask donations going?
We have one hospital in the Bay Area that we are donating to and one clinic. We are also making donations to a nursing home and another hospital in Cambodia. We will make this public once the donations are made. We plan to donate 5,000 masks by the end of the month, thanks to the donations and support we have received!
Can I request a donation of masks?
We cannot donate masks to individuals but have some masks available for donations to non-profit organizations and health care workers. Please contact us at email@example.com if you’d like to request a donation but please keep in mind we are backed up on production for existing donations so this may take 3-4 weeks.
Why did you get so political all of a sudden?
The fashion industry thrives on staggering inequality. While 6 of the world’s richest men have made their money in part or in whole through the fashion industry, the garment industry continues to have one of the highest rates of modern day slavery and rampant labor abuse. None of this is new, but Covid-19 is causing this system to break and buckle. We want to use this time to not only make sure our own team succeeds, but that all of us can live within a better system in the future. We hope you’ll join us in discussing how we can work together to rebuild these systems in a more just way.
Do you sell on Amazon? What are some alternatives to Amazon?
We do not intend to sell on Amazon now or anytime in the future. Here are some great alternatives to Amazon for essential goods and services.
Why did my order come in plastic packaging?
We have packaged some of our shipments coming from Cambodia in plastic packaging to assuage any worries about Covid-19 transmission. Although the USPS and the CDC maintains there are no documented cases of Covid-19 being transmitted through packages, we are taking every possible precaution. Any shipments from Cambodia that have come recently would have been packaged in plastic. Other stock that was not in plastic would have been in our stock-room prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. We wouldn’t take that off before shipping to you. We hope this will be temporary as we typically try to avoid the use of all single use plastic.
Should I be worried about ordering online right now?
Online shopping is one of the only options to keep most small retailers afloat right now, so if you are able to order from small businesses that deliver in a way that is decentralized and doesn’t rely on huge warehouses, then we would advocate yes! However keep in mind that non-essential items might take longer to ship right now. Additionally, the CDC and the USPS have stated that there is no known transmission of Covid-19 on packages, as the conditions in which mail is shipped are not conducive to viruses. If you want to be extra safe, you can let your shipment sit for a few days before opening it.
What about the postal workers?
We work with USPS which seems to be more decentralized and is not relying on large warehouses (where workers are getting sick.) In addition, USPS postal workers have access to paid sick leave and benefits, unlike some of the other larger carriers. We have one person who has access to our SF location who packages all these shipments in isolation, and our local USPS carrier picks them up in a contactless pickup. We are doing everything we can to protect you, our customers, our local postal workers, and our team.
Thanks for tuning in! We'll do our best to keep updating you with all the changes going on. Sending warmth and kind wishes to our community at this time.