Ethical retailer of the week: Rapanui
Based on the Isle of Wight, Rapanui is an eco-fashion company that put traceability, organic materials and clean technologies at the core of its business, while delivering quality products.
The company was founded in 2008 in Sandown Bay by surf-lovers Rob and Mart Drake-Knight, who were both in their 20s, with an initial budget of £200.
Rapanui started with the aim of making an important step towards sustainable fashion. The pair believed that a cool, ethical style had the power to influence consumer behaviour.
Mart Drake-Knight explained, “Fashion is like no other medium, in that you literally dress yourself in what you believe in. Rapanui gives people a choice to vote with their wallet for ethical fashion. We want to use the power of fashion to make eco cool, and design traceable, transparent products that let you shop quickly with a conscience.”
The firm offers a wide range of products for both men and women, from shirts and tops to bags and underwear.
Rapanui supplies from factories powered by wind and solar energy and uses ecological materials for its clothes, such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton. Its biggest strength however, is the focus on traceability, to keep customers informed on where the piece of clothing they are buying comes from.
The firm provides a trace mapping tool that gives the buyer information about products, from seed to shop. It is also lobbying to promote a new labelling system that would give consumers all the details to make ethical decisions.
Rapanui has won various awards since it started and its founders have been listed on the Future 100 list of Top Young Entrepreneurs.