Chopping right through the established best sellers list is our new organic cotton Lumberjack t-shirt. Cut one, plant two
Certified 100% Organic Cotton t-shirt (155g/m2)
Made in an ethically accredited, wind-powered factory / Low Carbon / GM Free
Hand finished in the UK.
Wash Cool, Hang Dry.
Rapanui. There's a better way.
Our values make our organisation and products totally different. We're not trying to work towards sustainability, our business is built on it. Every product we design and produce is made from organic or recycled materials in an ethically accredited, wind powered factory. You'll also find cutting-edge low waste printing technology here, and incentivised material recovery: Every Rapanui product has a value that can be recovered at the end of it's life, by freeposting it back, even with your custom print on it. And you can trace the origins of everything we make, from seed to shop.
Fundamentally Different sustainability.
We make products from sustainable materials in an ethically accredited, wind powered factory and use technology and design to show that ecology and economics can work together. Our company is values based. That makes us fundamentally different to businesses trying to do a bit of sustainability: We're built on it. It's not a case of change business as usual, instead, we aim to replace it - and make this the new normal.
At Rapanui we think we have proven that ecology and economics can work together.
Another consequence of a values based business is that things never stop improving. Recently we've reduced waste in our supply chain by 50% by developing cutting edge printing technology and then making this available to anyone at Teemill. Or by developing an internet-of-things inspired API, enabling coders to build apps that connect to an entire factory. Note: First we halved our waste, from that we increased our profit.
The same values that inspired our first Organic Cotton collection drove our latest 100% recycled and recyclable plastic waste fabrics. And the same values gave us the idea to give young, long-term unemployed people on the Isle of Wight a chance. Three years later 80% of our workforce and all but one of our senior management team came through that programme - making us a social enterprise according to the people who dish out the awards.
Fundamentally Different - Everywhere you look.
Renewable Energy. From the factory in India that makes the garments, to the factory in the UK that prints the products, and the offices that house the people on desks.
Better Fabrics Organic Cotton, Recycled Plastic, Dacron and bamboo. Design with origins in mind.
Social Fixing youth unemployment on the Isle of Wight, and paying reasonable wages in manufacturing.
It's not that people don't care, it's just that they don't know. We are not a company that tries to argue for right or wrong. Our aim is to try and make it easier for people to find out where clothing comes from, how it is made and who made it. Our hope - and our evidence suggests - that consumers who have good information will go ahead and make the right choice. They don't need to be told, they need to be shown.
Designed an printed in UK, made in India.
Info about Rapanui, Isle of Wight, UK.
1 - The Shed.
Rapanui started in a shed on the Isle of Wight. Rob & Mart, brothers, had £200 and decided to build a business that made a real contribution to sustainability and solved their youth unemployment problem at the same time. If you can't find a job, make one.
2 - The 2010 collection, our first real effort at being fashionable. We did achieve our first goal - To make the first range of Organic, Ethical and Wind-powered clothing that was not uncool. It's strange to think that only a few years ago, this was "Game Changing" according to the press, a sign of how much things have changed for the better.
3 - Marine Conservation
We do a fair amount of freediving outside our house, fishing for bass and lobsters - that kind of thing. The amount of bad stuff you see floating about is a nuisance, especially when you get ill from it. Around this time fishing boats regularly started set-netting close to shore, at one point leaving 12 miles of nets in a 3 mile bay. Fish stocks plummeted, and things came to a head when a fishing boat dropped a net over us when we were diving in 20ft water. Since then, the Marine Conservation Society have been our go-to crew in the wolfpack for all things aquatic, and we give them half the profits from sales of our limited edition MCS designs.
4 - Traceability
Having worked hard on the sustainability of Rapanui products, our thoughts became more focused on communication and economics. After all, we reasoned, it's not that people don't care about this stuff - it's just they don't know. We developed interactive trace maps so our customers could see where ourclothing comes from, and how it is made. With an organic, ethical and wind powered supply chain taking shape, and a way to properly communicate what we were all about in traceability, it felt like Rapanui was coming together. By no means perfect, but at least the basic idea of the company felt do-able.
5 - We'll get all the Awards out of the way in one go. Very nice and definitely inspired us to continue pushing: WINNER Big Venture Challenge 2013 | WINNER HBA Sustainability Award 2012 | WINNER RSPCA Good Business Awards Fashion Innovation 2011 | WINNER Sustainable Business Awards 2010 | Future 100 List of Young Entrepreneurs | Top 100 Startups of 2008
6 - Ecolabelling
Back in the real world, we had been studying the effects of using traceability on our website. We weren't getting the game-changing results we wanted, and realised we needed something instant, convenient and compatible. We found nobody doing what we wanted to do with clothing ecolabels so converted our own internal assessments into ratings, put them on our site and launched a campaign to get the EU to make them law. We're still trying.
7 - Rapanui Factory: With all the heat in the newspapers came a lot of requests from other companies for help sorting their own clothing. So we set up a print shop and started printing other people's designs on our T-shirts. Today it's grown to become a whole division in the Rapanui factory and we're stoked to have worked with some of the worlds biggest brands, helping them move across to more sustainable clothing.
8 - Printed in UK: Our new low waste printing technology was developed to reduce wastage, cut costs, and improve print quality. Now over 90% of our t-shirts are printed in this way, halving waste and allowing us to reduce prices by 25%
When we were designing the production floor we were wondering if we could connect with our IT systems that run the Rapanui online store with miscellaneous pieces of printing machinery and spent a couple of months hibernating to see if we could write the code and adapt the kit. What emerged worked really well. We estimate it cuts wastage by around 50% whilst using a much safer, benign and environmentally friendly printing process.
9 - September 11, 2012
"Rapanui are in my list of the top 50 global eco companies." - Sir Richard Branson
It's always nice when someone says something good about your life's work, but when it's unexpected - and Richard Branson - it's even better. Fair to say this was a really cool day to read this in the Times and gave us the chufties.
10 - World Record: Mart studied renewable energy so we've found it easy to get on with companies working with wind, solar and wave power. It's a happy coincidence that the factory in India, where all our stuff is made, is powered by Vestas Turbines that were designed just up the road, on the Isle of Wight. Vestas launched a world record attempt for the fastest speed under sail, and we were delighted to be invited to fit out the crew and support teams.