This week we chat to Rachel Faller, the founder and creative director of tonlé and Sokpriya Yan, tonlé’s General Manager. They’re one of the few brands we know of, “sustainable” or not, that does their own production. It’s a brand, and manufacturer, in one.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into tonlé’s design process. We look at how tonlé’s ownership structure shapes and enables a collaborative design process, and true co-creation between the sales side of the business and the production side of the business.
Want to dig deeper ?
To learn more about the design process in more conventional production settings, check out our interview with Makala Schouls about her time working as a designer for a Bangladeshi factory.
Check out the data: Better Buying compiles extensive information about design and development, which they include as one of their seven key responsible purchasing practices. Here’s their deep dive on better design, development and calendar management.
What’s considered “high quality” isn’t natural, or inherent… it’s created. For an ethnographic deep dive into how notions of quality come into being, and are shaped by political, social, cultural, and economic forces, take a look at the book Tasting Qualities by Sarah Besky. Don’t let the fact that it’s about tea put you off… there are many insights that apply to the fashion industry’s approach to quality, too!
Photo taken by Hannah Tabert, provided by tonlé