Sunday, 20 May 2012

Q&A with Rapanui

Rapanui is one trail-blazing brand to watch. Not only do the founders, brothers Rob and Mart Drake-Knight, create some of the most eco-friendly easy-to-wear clothes available, they are also busy encouraging positive change across the wider fashion industry by championing an eco labelling system.  Plus the Rapanui trace mapping tool is already making it easy for shoppers of the brand to see exactly how each product is made and where it comes from, an idea which makes us think 'why can't they all do that?!'.

Rapanui has won many awards in its relatively short life and has even achieved arguably the highest eco-accolade of all; the nod from the wonderful Sir David Attenborough. Here Rob shares his thoughts with us:

Rapanui in three words...
Sustainable, Cool, Casualwear

Where does your design inspiration come from?
All of our designs have hidden meanings, or a context with our ethics, some are bold, some detailed. The inspiration comes when we think about how we can influence change through our design, so for example our eco label t-shirt and top are inspired by the EU energy rating symbol, and we hope that people will think about how eco friendly the garments or products that they buy are. The idea with the brand and design is to try to influence change in people’s wider lifestyle through their interaction with Rapanui.

If you could only wear one fashion brand forever, which would you choose?
Cor... that is tough question, I would be a poor businessman if I didn’t say Rapanui!!

What made you choose to operate in an ethical way vs any other model?
Through Mart’s studies at university in Renewable Energy Engineering we both became passionate about sustainability, we decided that we wanted to do something and the most accessible route for us was a clothing brand, we knew there were problems in the fashion industry and so decided to take that route.

Are there any fellow ethical business owners you admire and why?
I would say Liz Earle for skincare, she has the same principles as us when it comes to the environment, and their product quality is great.

What tips would you give others keen to run their label or company as a successful ethical business?
Go for it! And come to us, we can help – we have a sister business which makes custom eco clothing for other businesses brands and events

If you had to pick a favourite item from Rapanui, which would you choose?
Very difficult, I like so many of them! I think I would have to go for the:
Save our Seas tee / top

What do you see the future holding for the brand?
Lots more cool products! We’ve got a new collection coming soon, and next year we should be making some technical jackets made from recycled plastic based on a rad idea of the circular economy. Basically, we’ll be financially rewarding our customers who recycle their products with us when they have come to the end of their lifetime.

We’re really excited about where things are going, lots of new products and even more developments of our traceability initiative to include video, so people can see even more detail of where and how our clothing is made – very exciting stuff!

Bon Ton Times is certainly looking forward to hearing more from Rapanui!  Check out for more info and to see the latest clothing.

1 comment:

  1. I love this brand. I am essentially a hippy and any designer who makes save-the-fish t-shirts this cool is fine by me.