Fledgling Isle of Wight based business Rapanui has proved that even small businesses can turn sustainability into profitability. The company has been making radical changes to the way the fashion business sources its materials, offering their customers an unprecedented level of detail, facts and figures and even interactive maps covering the entire supply chain from seed to shop on every product. The ethical eco-fashion label has unmatched ethical credentials and its two young directors have been nominated for countless sustainability and entrepreneurial awards.
“The idea is to educate our customers about where their clothes come from and exactly how they were made so that they can be empowered to make informed decision as shoppers” said Co-Founder Rob Drake-Knight, “At Rapanui we have a passion to be successful for doing business the right way”
The business was founded by Brothers Rob and Martin Drake-Knight in early 2008 and has quickly grown into an award winning brand, earning recognition from Enterprising Young Brits Awards and the sustainable business awards for their commitment to ethical and sustainable methods. Their ambitious sustainable business model is the key to their success; the motivation to develop Rapanui’s eco-friendly style came from their experiences in the water, repeatedly getting ill from sewage released onto their local beach in storm surf.
The brand takes a holistic approach to sustainability, using sustainable textiles like organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. Clothes are manufactured in a Fairwear Foundation audited supply chain including a factory powered by renewable energy. Critically though, this isn’t a clothing brand ticking the green box; the brothers accept that sustainability is not just about the design of products, technology or economics, it’s about communication design and dialogue.
Co-founder and director of sustainability Mart Drake-Knight said; “To us it’s not just about clothes it’s about wearing what you believe in. As surfers we know that people relate to nature in different ways and we want to inspire people to think about the environment in their wider lifestyle.”
So if you want to see a great range of ethical surfwear, check them out here.