This Thanksgiving week, we have an ambitious giving goal.

This week, we were going to offer a sale exclusively to our friends and family on our mailing list, we were going to write about how we don’t make a huge profit on our items and how a larger percentage of the sale price goes back to the artisans who worked on the products, and we were going to talk about gratitude and how lucky we are to be surrounded by such an amazing group of champions and supporters and how you make our important work at tonlé possible. All of these things are still true.

But then, half of California was on fire.

The Campfire - credit EPA

For the last week, our city has been filled with toxic smoke, and all of us were sick and feeling the effects from it. We had family members of some of our team members here in California who lost their homes and most of their possessions. As of the writing of this post there are more than 50,000 people who have been displaced because of the crisis.

It’s hard to think or write about anything else, and as a small mission driven company, we do quite a bit of giving back – it is imbedded in our DNA as a company and a group of people. But in seeing the lists of needs being put out by shelters and organizations in the area, one of the biggest needs we’re seeing is new clothing – and what better time to give than the biggest shopping day of the year.

To be honest, we’re a small company and we make very little profit due to our environmental and social goals.  We also have no waste, so we’re not sitting on huge amounts of inventory that is not valuable to selling and supporting the artisans we work with. But we planned to have a sale during this time period, and instead of doing that, we’d like to ask you to help us give back to the community. For every full priced item we sell between now and the end of Giving Tuesday (11/27), we will donate another item of clothing to people who have been displaced by the fires. We will still have products on sale on our site, so if you’d like to shop on sale and also purchase an item at full price, we will donate an item on your behalf. For any gift cards purchased, we will donate half it’s value in clothing.

Participating in this sale event means you can support artisans and help to create a different future for fashion – while helping to provide thoughtfully made clothing for those who truly need it. We know that buy-one-give-one models are not a solution to the long term climate related problems we’re experiencing first hand in California – but they are something we can do in the short term to support those who really need it. In the long run, tonlé is working towards reversing the destructive climate patterns that are contributing to worsening environmental disasters around the world. And that’s an uphill battle we all, unfortunately, have to keep on fighting at the same time.

Our goal is to donate 300 new items of tonlé clothing to people who need it – and you’ll be able to track our progress on our website and on facebook. We’ll be donating these items directly through affected friends and family, and through grassroots organizations. With every e-commerce order placed, we will also include a thank you note for your donation. Please help us make this possible this holiday season while purchasing items for yourself or gifts for family and friends. If you’re unable to financially contribute, sharing this via Facebook or Instagram, or by any other means, makes a huge difference as well. Thank you.


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UPDATE: Thanks to your support, so far we’ve been able to donate 80 pieces of clothing, and some of them were already given away on Thanksgiving! That means we’re 25% of the way to reaching our goal of donating 300 pieces of clothing to people affected by the California Wildfires. If we surpass this goal, we will donate 50% of the proceeds to relief work between now and 11/27. Thanks to everyone who has supported so far and for choosing to shop more mindfully this weekend!

Rachel Faller November 23, 2018

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