In the middle of 2020 during one of the most challenging times of the pandemic, Christopher Griffin (AKA the Plant Kween) and Rachel Faller (Co-creator at tonlé) started a conversation on instagram about self-care and community care, how clothing should be comfortable and stylish, and the joy of wearing the color yellow. Out of these initial conversations, the idea for our first collaboration was born!
Christopher aka the @plantkween models the patchwork anja dress in orange from the tonlé x Plant Kween summer 2022 collection. Image: @tory.stolper
Throughout the fall, Christopher worked with the tonlé team over video meetings, trying on samples to bring the first collection to life. Through this experience we continued learning about the ways the gender binary is entrenched in every part of the fashion system, how important it is to break down these boundaries, and to carve out space for joy for ourselves and others, especially during these challenging times. We launched the collection in November 2020 - and were thrilled to see how much it resonated with so many people who felt seen and heard in a way they hadn’t before by the mainstream fashion industry. All around, it was one of the most meaningful experiences for our team during a time that was quite challenging.
Fast forward to 2022 - the pandemic is still going and continuing to impact our production, but our team has been strengthened throughout the two years, coming together over common causes that unite us and building resilience in the face of struggle. Christopher has recently launched a book, “You Grow, Gurl!” full of joy and tips for caring for your green gurls, as well as self-care and community care. We’re so excited to announce that Christopher has decided to join us in creating a new collection, infused with her signature joie de vivre. Each piece in this collection combines Christopher’s flair for fashion with tonlé’s sustainable, zero waste process. In line with our shared vision of disrupting gender binarism in the fashion industry, each piece has been developed through a gender expansive lens to offer fits of self-expression and joy designed to fit a range of bodies.
These handwoven pieces from the Plant Kween x tonlé summer 2022 collection are actually created using leftover textile scraps from our earlier collaboration in Fall 2020. Image: @tory.stolper Model: @plantkween
We have exciting visions for our future collaborations that we look forward to sharing with you soon. Our collaborations with Christopher have been such a great example of the mutual benefit we strive for at tonlé through our clothing design, production, and sales. We are so excited and honored to deepen our partnership with Christopher through this collection, with more exciting things to come!
Made using a breezy deadstock rayon, the Vichka Jumpsuit features a hand printed 'forest floor' print, developed as part of the Plant Kween x tonlé summer 2022 collection. Image: @tory.stolper Model: @plantkween
Our collaborative summer collection with the Plant Kween offers many gender expansive fits such as the handwoven Srey Jackets, a flexible silhouette designed to suit a wide range of bodies and looks. Image: @tory.stolper Model: @plantkween
From Harper Collins Website about the book:
Discover the joys and self-nurturing benefits of plant parenthood, from learning how to begin building your own lush plant family to getting into those fun tips on how to care for your green gurls, with this beautiful, illustrated guide from the dazzling creator of the @plantkween Instagram account.
“We all love some new growth, dahling.”
Six years ago, Christopher Griffin was just beginning the plant parenthood journey with one small Marble Queen Pothos. Today, this Black Queer non-binary femme plant influencer known as Plant Kween tends to a family of more than 200 healthy green gurls in the Brooklyn apartment they call home. You Grow, Gurl! is Kween’s fun and fabulous guide to becoming a plant parent and keeping your green gurls growing and thriving.
Anyone can be a plant parent! It’s all about TLC—taking the time and energy to focus on a plant’s needs, and ultimately your own. Featuring 200 full-color photos and illustrations, practical instructions and tips—on everything from propagating to measuring humidity to repotting—activities, and stories, this fun and joyful guide shows how to green-up any space and have it serving those lush lewks.
Self-care takes many forms and tending to your plants’ needs helps you grow too. In addition to information and advice on plant care, Kween provides meditations, mindfulness activities, playlists, and more to help you practice self-care through plant-care. As Kween says, “We can learn a lot about how we treat ourselves, how we treat others, and how we navigate the world from these green lil creatures.”
Healing and growing your heart, body, and soul takes time, love, and focus. Taking care of plants teaches you to apply that same attention and love to yourself and helps you find new pathways to explore on your own botanical adventure to self-love.
Bringing together a sense of joy, community, fashion and love for the green gurls- we're thrilled to share this new Plant Kween x tonlé summer collection with you. Watch for more pieces arriving in May! Image: @tory.stolper Model: @plantkween