Hi, my name is Rachel, and I'm a co-founder of tonlé. We've worked with a weaving cooperative in Northern Cambodia for over 6 years, and unfortunately during the pandemic, this partnership disolved, leaving each person in the coop out of a job and struggling to meet their basic needs. It was also unsafe for the tonlé team to continue working there, so we are aiming to set up the workshop again in a new province. I found out that one person in the coop had taken advantage of the difficult situation and the fact that our team was not able to travel to their province due to travel restrictions, in order to take over $30,000 of makers salaries over 2 years. For the last year, I have been trying to recover this money to pay back the salaries of these makers, but have not been able to do so as our sales have also been slow. I am still in the process of trying to get this money back from the person who took it, but in the meantime, I would like to find a solution for those who's safety and livlihoods were jeapordized by this person. If this money is recoverable, it will be re-invested in the community as well.
Use of funds:
- $30K : First and foremost, I would like to pay back those who's salaries were stolen. This will require 30K.
- $30K : Secondly, we would like to set up a new weaving center in another province (likely Siem Reap, we are still discussing this as a team) that is safe for the people who lost their jobs, and caters to their needs. Many of the people who were working in this workshop have disabilities, and need accomodations which are often hard to come by in Cambodia. Our team is passionate about making sure they are taken care of.
- $20K : 6 months of salaries set aside to make sure the makers have a buffer to restart their business. The tonlé team aims to work with them to make sure they are set up for success. We will be able to employ approximately 20 people with additional income from tonlé.
If additional funds are raised:
If beyond our goal is raised, we would like to put additional capital into transforming the weaving center into a regenerative agriculture center and textile facility. We can recover the equiptment to do so from the current site where it is currently unused.
We are offering rewards from the tonlé brand to support this initiative. We are selling open closet subscriptions and gift cards as this does not take away from our current inventory. We are doing this through gofund me rather than our site to keep this sensitive situation as private as possible.
For wholesale buyers, any amount you contribute will be credited to an immediate order or an open closet order . Sign into our wholesale website here or create an account. When you place an order, it will be submitted to us and we'll make sure to credit your contribution to your order.
Each $50 - $50 gift card or 1 month open closet subscription
Each $100 - $100 gift card or 2 month open closet subscription
This topic is sensative due to the parties involved and for now I prefer this is not shared on social media. Please feel free to pass this on to people via email or text message. If you have questions, feel free to reach to me personally. I may open this up publically without the personal information about the affected parties, but I thought it was important context for the time being.
If you're unfamiliar with the tonlé brand, check out our website here :)