We partnered with Tonlé, a zero-waste ethical fashion manufacturer based in Cambodia, to create a unique collection of accessories made exclusively from fashion off-cuts and textile waste.
MEET THE MAKERS:
Name: Ming Leak
Position: Sewing Team Member
Ming Leak describes herself as sassy, has a great sense of humor, and always points to her family as her main source of inspiration. She is the breadwinner of her family of eight, so life can be a bit chaotic, but she doesn't let that stop her from enjoying her life to the fullest and having an optimistic vision for the future.
With a ton of attention to detail and several years of experience in sewing, Leak is the go-to person for making handbags, and she has done all sewing for CMC's newest INFLUENCE fringe belt! She enjoys the challenge of making a new piece and her future dreams are selling goods from a small shop out of her home!
Name: Ming Eng
Position: Hand-knit Team Member
Ming Eng is witty, straightforward, and always brings a fun-loving demeanour to the workshop. She is most definitely a resident knitting expert and prides herself on making beautiful products using handwork techniques; whether it be crochet, embroidery, knitting or even macramé. She has worked on the knitting for our newest ETERNAL and TRANSFORMATION pieces.
She cannot read or write in English but can brilliantly transform a design concept into a beautifully handmade piece. She is eager to improve her skills but also enjoys teaching and working with her fellow team members. Ming Eng is never afraid to try and learn something new and hopes to learn how to sew in the near future.
Position: Cut Room leader
Manak is friendly and likes to share her story with the people she meets. Manak has been working as a cutter for 5 years; her meticulous eye and natural leadership abilities has allowed her to quickly advance herself in the company and she is now the team leader of the cut room. Beyond her normal duties, Manak is a key member of the quality control process by inspecting the fabric before cutting and checking that the cut pieces are correct before going to the sewers.
Manak enjoys making her home a comfortable living space by cooking and keeping her home tidy. When the opportunity comes, she would like to learn how to sew however, her dream would be to have her own small grocery store; providing local products for her community.
Position: Technical Designer
Rae is an International Fashion Design and Technical Design graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in NYC. She worked in the U.S. fashion industry for several years before deciding to get away from the wasteful and harmful practices she saw there. In 2017, she decided to move to Cambodia in pursuit of a life driven by her values, which included working for a fashion company that focuses on conscious and ethical practices.
Rae wears many hats at tonlé but primarily oversees the entire pre-production process; from pattern development, to approving the selection of all of the deadstock fabrics and offcuts, to ensuring each garment has the perfect fit. She also works with the production team to ensure each piece is made perfectly. In her free time, she teaches ballet and hip-hop dance to children. Although she finds ways to communicate with expressive body language and laughter, her most immediate goal is to learn the Khmer language so she can better communicate with her fellow tonlé team.