Fashion Forward: MICA Alumni Startups Seek to Change the Net-Zero Fashion Game

Rachel Faller ’08 (Fiber BFA)

Rachel Faller ’08 (Fiber BFA) went to Cambodia on a Fulbright grant shortly after her graduation from MICA to learn about fair trade — and left with a purpose. Today, the co-creator of the sustainability-focused garment company tonlé employs 30 people in Phnom Penh who make beautiful zero-waste clothing while earning fair wages and benefits.

The company is focused on what it calls "fashion justice" and maintains a production ecosystem designed to enrich the planet rather than harm it. All of tonlé’s products are made from remnant textile waste from larger factories, diverting thousands of pounds of textiles from landfills and incinerators.

On May 18, Faller was featured on The Social Impact podcast, which launched last month with a series of interviews with artisan-entrepreneurs. Listen to the episode here


Allina Liu ’13 (Fiber BFA) — founder of her eponymous fashion-line — was recently profiled in Marie Claire as a small, women-owned business. With influences from Chinese photographer Ren Hang to 17th century Dutch portraiture, Liu creates art-inspired pieces and is committed to small-batch, eco-friendly production and ethical labor practices. Read the profile here.