The tonlé guide for zero waste and mindful holiday gifting

For many of us this year, celebrating the holidays will be different. Though we may not be able to be physically with our loved ones this season - please know there are ways to bring joy to your loved ones either through buying things that are made thoughtfully, shopping second-hand, homemade gifts, or acts of service instead of gifts.⁠ We explore some ideas in this post of both tonlé gifts and other ways to share joy and community care without furthering consumption. 

tonlé items and gift ideas

 

While we are a brand and we need to sell things during the holidays to support our team and our work - we believe there's a way to do that honestly that doesn't result in exploitation. As we navigate the balance of participating in the fashion industry which is so rife with harm - we appreciate you being here for the journey and learning!

Here are some of our best-selling pieces and team favorites that will make great gifts for everyone on your list

Our signature handwoven pieces are make for memorable gifts that will be cherished for years. Each piece is lovingly handwoven from the scraps of reclaimed jersey that remain after creating our garments, as part of tonlé’s unique zero waste process.

Three side by side images of models wearing our zero waste handwoven crop top, cardigan sweater and wrap scarf

Image description: Three side by side images of models in our one of a kind handwoven pieces. Images by Tory Stolper and Quasi Australis.

The Srey crop top is a clever gift-giving choice this season, since the mesmerizing texture is an eye-catcher on video calls, and the loose, boxy fit of the top accommodates many body types.Friends and family will love snuggling up in our

Srey scarf—wearing it feels like getting a hug. The oversized accessory can pull double duty as a wrap too. Extra bonus, you can also use this scarf to wrap other presents for complete zero waste gifting!

Our Phnom Vest is a perfect layering piece that they’ll love to wear with so many looks. It’s finished with a fun fringe, and is the newest take on our bestselling Srey Long Vest.

Side by side images of our handwoven homewares in neutral tones and a one of a kind wall hanging both made from reclaimed fabric scraps as part of our unique zero waste process

Image description: two side by side images of tonlé's unique handwoven homewares. First a couch setting with handwoven zig zag pillows, a throw and an edged rug. The second a one of a kind mustard and rose wall hanging.

Make a loved one’s home even cozier with this handwoven recycled rug. With a variety of sizes and colors available in our home collection, you’ll be able to find the right accent to brighten up their kitchen, bedroom or hallway.

Transform someone’s living space by sending one of our handwoven wall hangings. These textural, colorful art pieces are truly one-of-a-kind home decor.

Three side-by-side images of models in a black t-shirt with hand printed moon cycle, loosely fitting soft blue set and cozy yet chic black sweatsuit

Image description: Rae wears our best selling black Keang short sleeved top with moon cycle motif. Eunice of Quasai Australis wears our nearady top with sothea pants with jewelry from Mulxiply. Lastly our best selling cozy yet chic Jorani sweatsuit paired with Bryr clogs.

Our Keang top with moon print has a trendy motif that’s a favorite of millennials and gen-zers: the design is a true standout on screen and the t-shirt style top is an essential piece.

The loose cut on our best-selling, free-flowing Nearady Top is flattering on many figures, so you don’t need to stress about ordering the right size.

Our Jorani pants are versatile sweatshirt-style trousers that are beloved by customers—they’re work-from-home ready and chic enough to wear around town too.

three side by side images of a model wearing a three tone color block blue sweatshirt, handmade homewears and custom printed reusable face masks

Image description: our cozy three tone blue Kendal Sweatshirt next to an inviting homewares display featuring a handwoven placemat and ceramic bowls. The last image is a circle of reusable cotton face masks featuring various custom prints.

Our graphic, colorblocked Kendal sweatshirt was so popular as a gift last year that we brought it back in stock. The gender-inclusive style is a smart gift for anyone who blends casual and cool.

Give the gift of protection with a cloth face covering. Our reusable cotton face masks are made from are a sustainable, fun replacement for single-use paper masks that the recipient is sure to appreciate.

To complement the tonlé home textile collection, we’re now offering one-of-a-kind ceramics, handmade by our co-creator Rachel Faller. These mugs, bowls and tabletop accents will make many meals a delight to make and enjoy.

Side by side image of two models, one wearing our sage green jumpsuit with flowing sleeves, the other wearing a wine red flattering wrap dress

Image description: Seema Hari wears our soft sage Vanna v-neck jumpsuit next to Rae in our wine red maxi wrap dress

Don’t forget to give a gift to yourself this season! For all those virtual parties, be sure to dress in an ensemble that feels joyous and comfortable. Our picks for home holiday celebrations: the elegant maxi wrap dress, which is made from reclaimed cotton jersey as comfortable as a favorite t-shirt, and the chic Vanna jumpsuit, which has a graceful bell sleeve that looks dramatic with a festive drink in hand. 

We know that not everyone wants to participate in gift giving and for some it may be a financial hardship. 

As we noted in last year’s gift guide last (read it here), some of the most thoughtful gifts are experiences. Below are several no-cost or low-cost gift-giving ideas, along with suggestions of how to give them with a tonlé touch.

  • Give the gift of connection with a virtual activity date. Pick out a favorite recipe that you and your loved one can cook together, and set a time to make and enjoy the meal. Send them a giftcard to a local grocery store for ingredients. You can also find ways to create a shared sense of table—even from a distance—by getting some matching placemats for your loved ones and yourself. 
  • Decide on a movie you want to watch together, and co-watch on the appointed time. Cover the streaming or rental fee, if you can, and set the snack menu. Help make their couch an extra cozy home theatre with our handwoven pillow case
  • Plan a long-distance coffee date. Send coffee beans from a local roaster, so you can both be drinking the “same” cup of coffee as you catch up via video chat. 
  • Present your creativity as a present. Whatever your creative talents are—singing, dancing, drawing, writing, or styling signature looks, you can share them with your loved ones as a gift this season. Maybe you master a new dance or song and stage a private virtual performance for friends, maybe you paint a picture or write a poem for family. Or maybe you offer up styling services and set a time to go through a loved one’s wardrobe with them and to create fun new looks with the pieces in their closet. 
  • Revive the regift. Instead of thinking about regifting as a way to cast off unwanted things, in the style of a “White Elephant” swap, consider regifting some of your cherished possessions this year. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you can connect with a loved one by sharing the same cherished thing; we feel that value is instilled in an object through how much it is loved, worn or used. Here are a few regift ideas: Wrap up a favorite book you’ve finished reading, or an album you’ve had on replay, with a note about your favorite parts. Send a sweater that has kept you cozy through many winters. Share a work of art that has graced your walls for a while, and let it transform the home of your family member or friend, to help them feel connected to you. 

This sharing pre-loved pieces is a concept that we had in mind when we developed our resale platform open closet.

flat-lay photo of giftable tonlé items and items from other brands

Image description: Photo of tonlé's hand-woven srey scarf and staple nearady top, along with giftable jewelry and bags from Multxiply. 

It’s been wonderful to see so many contributions of pre-loved clothing from the tonlé community. If you have pre-loved tonlé pieces that you’re willing to trade in on open closet, you can get points towards a new or new-to-you tonlé piece—maybe something giftable.

Sending you warm wishes through this holiday season with love, the tonlé team.

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