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Eco fashion brand Rapanui wins Sustainability Award
25
May '10
A small Eco Fashion brand from the Isle of Wight has won the Sustainable Business Awards for its commitment to sustainability and passion for doing business the right way. The brand, co founded by two under-25 year old brothers is the youngest business to win the award.

Rapanui, founded by brothers Martin and Rob Drake-Knight in early 2008 was commended for its spirit and holistic approach to sustainability.

Rapanui make clothes out of organic natural fabrics in a wind powered factory audited by the Fairwear Foundation. The brand promotes local economic and social sustainability by using local businesses and running charity events.

Judges highlighted the company's traceability tool as a key reason why they were chosen as the winners: Rapanui make it easy and convenient for customers to find out where their clothing comes from and how it is made using interactive maps and a Wikipedia style encyclopaedia of their product life cycle on their website; traceability that is years ahead of the industry.

Other initiatives highlighted by the judges included Rapanui's reduction of carbon on key lines by 80 percent in the past year.

“The award is fantastic recognition for our holistic approach to sustainability. So far eco-fashion has been about new fabrics and new ways of manufacturing. We think sustainability is about designing new ways of businesses communicating with consumers, opening up a dialogue with consumers rather than talking at them” said Rob.

“Our traceability technology allows us to do that and allows the market forces of demand and supply to work for sustainability. It's great to be recognised by our peers for what we think is the right way to do business. We hope that this award inspires others to think about how they do business, it proves that you can be successful in what you believe in, whether you wear flip flops or a suit” said Mart.

Rapanui on Sustainability:
The brand says that it's not that people don't care, it's just they don't know, and believe that talking to customers more is key to sustainability. The result is an interactive map format with images, video, facts and figures where shoppers can investigate the complete product lifecycle on page, “packaged simply so that consumers can shop quickly with a conscience.”

The brand's website also hosts a live Wikipedia style resource packed with information about their supply chain, where consumers can find out where clothing comes from, how it is made and ask questions on anything – from planting the seed to stacking on the shelf.

“So far eco-fashion has been about new fabrics and new ways of manufacturing. We think sustainability is about designing new ways of businesses communicating with consumers, opening up a dialogue with consumers rather than talking at them. Our traceability technology allows us to do that and allows the market forces of demand and supply to work for sustainability” said Rob.

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