Rapanui Blog

Change the System

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched a rad new report about the future of fashion, and we think it’s going to be a game changer. The team visited us as part of their research and so we were asked to comment on the findings by the BBC:

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The report highlights the tragic impact on marine life that comes from washing synthetic fibres, and showed how one garbage truck a second full of clothing goes to landfill, or is burned. And it also sets out a pathway to a better designed system of textiles use and shows how this is an opportunity – not just a problem. Businesses can design out waste, make better products AND restore the environment. That’s why we need to #makefashioncircular – Just doing a bit less isn’t a solution, we need to change the system

To download the report, check out ellenmacarthurfoundation.org

Return a product

If you want to be a part of the #circulareconomy, remember we give you store credit to return old products to us when they’re at the end of life at www.backtorapanui.com – so have a dig through your wardrobe, visit the url and send us back that material!


Gift Guide: For Her

We asked the ladies at Rapanui to get together and help make a gift guide for guys out there in gift mode. Once you’ve won the battle of getting the size right (By the way, it’s cool to swap sizes after Christmas and we include a handy returns slip in the packaging – so don’t worry) you still have to work out which product is the right one. Tough stuff, so the ladies here have got you organised and got together a list of options. All you need to is pick a colour and remember, get this sorted now – when it comes to gifts, a day early is better than a day late.

1. Organic Cotton Shirt

Our army of female followers would not let us rest until we made a ladies shape flannel shirt. That speaks volumes for the popularity of the product and so we’ll start with a guaranteed winner: Guys, she wants one of these. All you have to do is pick a colour.


2. Merino Wool Jumper

Our brand new knitted woolly jumpers come in some super on trend vintage colours and a lovely fitted high neck shape that’s perfect for Winter. The first reaction out of the packaging is always the same – *wowsers* – because the merino wool has a softness that everyone seems to comment on. Our jumpers are designed, spun and knitted in Britain and are made to last. This is a special product with a special story.

merino jumper

3. Organic cotton tops

Guys might not realise this, but finding amazing quality tops made from organic cotton that are made well and fit right – well, is really hard. That’s why our plain packs of organic cotton tees and tops are so popular. They’re designed for basic, daily layering up with any outfit and are super useful – she’ll wear them daily. A nice little extra something alongside a main present? Organic cotton packs.

organic basics

4. Custom Tees

Sometimes, personalised presents can be the most memorable. At Rapanui our awesome print technology lets you design and order your own products online. Whatever you design, we print to order the same day in the Rapanui factory, right here on the Isle of Wight and ship directly to you. A great idea if you’re looking to gift something a little more personal this Christmas. Custom Studio.

5. Make a difference

If you’re looking for something with a story, our collaborations collection features products that we’ve made with some of the coolest causes and charities around. A percentage of proceeds from each one goes to a charity, from CND who campaign against nuclear bombs to the Marine Conservation Society, who raise funds to go towards their work saving our oceans with this amazing sea life print. There’s an incredible gift in here for her if she’s passionate about a cause. Collab prints.

charity t shirt

6. Socks

Whatever you do, don’t forget that it’s a good tactic to get more than one thing, even if that one big present you’ve got in mind is and absolutely ridiculous masterpiece of gift buying. Our socks come in loads of fun colours and packs, and they’re made from organic cotton blended with bamboo, giving them a famously soft feel – plus a fun little story to put on the label – made from panda food. Chuck in a few of these as little gifts to get the day off to a fun start. Women’s socks.

Women's Socks

7. Beach Bums

This one’s for the beach bums, a beach change towel that’s perfect for getting in and out of a wetsuit or bikini and big enough to lay out and lie on too on a day at the beach. Made from organic cotton towelling, it’s extra soft and in two fun colourways, it’s something she’ll look forward to using when the sun comes out and you plan your next beach adventures together. Women’s surf towel.

surf towel

8. Bundles

It’s always a good idea to get gifts that work together. We’ve taken the difficulty out of choosing by curating some bundles that make your budget go further. Just like our plain packs, when you buy these together you can save a little. Our bundles are packed with bestsellers and new products, so you know you’ll be making a popular choice – hard to go wrong. Women’s bundles.

So there’s our gift guide for folks looking for an amazing present for her. We have asked the guys at work to do the same, perfect if you’re looking for a gift for him.


Gift Guide: For Him

We asked the guys at Rapanui to get together and asked them what they want for Christmas from Rapanui and come up with a collection of our best products in one big gift guide. Looking back through we’re thinking we want all of it, so whatever your budget, you can’t go wrong: These are sure fire winners he’s going to love. And remember, as well as coming in lush plant-based packaging that is bursting with colour, in the basket when you check out you can add a little message – So even if you’re not there to wrap it in person, your gift will show up looking and feeling amazing. And swapping an item or returning after Christmas if it’s the wrong size and colour is totally cool, we extend this out to the 7th of January if you checkout today.

1. Flannel shirt

This one was a unanimous vote-in for one simple reason: Amongst all the guys at Rapanui in the room, every single one was wearing one of our flannel shirts. We set out with a mission to make a better flannel shirt because we couldn’t find one that was a really cool fit, with rad checked patterns and built to last. Our flannel shirts are made from organic cotton too, so they’re extra soft. Built to last and at £50 – or under if you buy them in a bundle – and with free UK shipping as standard. If you pick one main present, this is the one to go for. Full flannel range.

mens flannel shirt

2. Woolly jumper

A really good woolly jumper should be something that he keeps for years, and that ages with him. Ours are designed and made in the UK from spinning through to knitting, and the extra care that goes in to making them is exactly why they make such a great gift. The first impression taking this one out of the packaging is how unbelievably soft the wool is, and how rich the yarn is with tiny variations in colour – you can see that this product is a story about craftmanship, skill and manufacturing in the UK – it makes you feel like it’s built to last. He’ll never take it off. Woolly jumpers.

British Wool Jumpers

3. Rad Stocking Fillers

If you’re looking for a few extra mini presents or little treats to make the day extra fun, our pants and socks packs are ideal. We designed these with a variety of different colours, from totally crazy party pants to seriously serious day to day socks. Whatever his character, from disco print to plain grey, every single pair has a special ingredient that makes them feel especially comfortable. To make our pants we use certified organic cotton – he’ll really appreciate the extra comfort where it counts. Stocking fillers.

Mens Stocking fillers

4. Custom Tees

Sometimes, personalised presents can be the most memorable. At Rapanui our awesome print technology lets you design and order your own products online. Whatever you design, we print to order the same day in the Rapanui factory, right here on the Isle of Wight and ship directly to you. A great idea if you’re looking to gift something a little more personal this Christmas. Custom Studio.

5. The Surf Towel

The surftowel has a cult like following amongst Rapanui customers and whilst you might wonder whether or not he’ll even like it (or wonder what it even is?!) trust us – If he goes anywhere near the coast, changes in and out of boardshorts or a wetsuit to go surfing or whatever, he needs one. Every single beach bum in our office swears by the surf towel and the local surf carpark is full of them. Made from extra absorbent organic cotton towelling, it’s super soft, and without any synthetics it wont go all smelly if he leaves it in the boot of the car for a day or… a week. Surprise him and plan your next beach adventure together. Surf Towel.

surf towel

6. Radical organic cotton tees

T-shirts are what we’re known for. Our tees come in a proven shape with a little 21st century coolness designed in, made from our famously soft organic cotton and with the choice of either rad designs that are thoughtful and unique, or in plain packs for everyday wear. There’s so many popular tees that it’s really hard to choose a good one, so we’ll link to the bestselling tees range here and let you browse through.

Men's Organic Cotton Prints

7. Campaign Prints

Our collaboration prints with charities are printed on the same famously soft organic cotton tees, but designed in collaboration with a charity or cause and with a percentage of proceeds going to charity. From the CND which campaigns for nuclear disarmament, to Marine Conservation charities that work to save our seas, there’s an incredible gift with a story that makes a difference too. Campaign prints.

Men's Collaboration Prints

9. Bundles

We thought that maybe you’ll want to buy a few bits that go together and also that you might be up for a getting a deal if you’re splashing out a little extra for him: So we’ve put together a fresh set of bundles, our super popular product packs. Remember there’s free post on top too when you spend more than £50. Gift bundles.

Men's Bundles

So there’s our gift guide for folks looking for an amazing present for him. We have asked the ladies at work to do the same, perfect if you’re looking for a gift for her.


Six Steps to Sustainable Surfing

Change the way you change

Surf change towel robes are doubling in popularity as more and more hardcore surfers realise that they’ve been doing it wrong: Using the hand towel in public carparks in high wind is high risk. Sure, in a robe you might look like a kook, but if that means being warm, cosy and putting on a suit without getting the pre surf shiver, sign me up. And now people are starting to make them from more sustainable materials. People are learning that synthetic fibres shed microplastics and are bad for our watercourses and the marine ecosystem. We make ours from a super thick terry loop towelling made form organic cotton. Natural materials are softer, kind to skin, super absorbent and don’t stink when you leave them in the boot for ages.
surf towel

Ask your shaper to use low impact materials

Boards are getting more sustainable, but what people might not realise is that traditional, local shapers now have access to this kind of tech right now. EPS / epoxy boards can be lighter and stronger than traditional PU, and the EPS route is where some fun sustainability stuff is happening.

EPS blanks are available made with recycled polystyrene, along with bio based supersap resin.

The outcome is a frighteningly lightweight and responsive board, made from lower impact materials, that you can get your local shaper to rip out in something totally custom. We’ve been collaborating with Luke Young on an Isle of Wight specific South Coast slop rocket board to keep the small/weak wave project alive in the UK. Check out the tug boat, and if you’re thinking of ordering a new stick, check up on the construction. A more sustainable surfboard might be a quick question away.
surfboard from bio resin and recycled core

Ask Kelly Slater for help

It makes sense on the topic of surfing to consult the gods, and Kelly Slater has a potential solution to the sticky-back plastic back foot dilemma in the form of a new type of deck grip construction from Slater designs.

It sounds bananas, but these deckgrips are made from Algae.

Needless to say, they work great – a product that looks, performs and lasts just as well as what people want, made with what we need in mind: Lower impact products. It’s all we ride now.
algae deck grip

Flannel Shirt

In the UK you’re likely to be spending more time checking spots than surfing them, so getting a solid beach side look is an essential part of the gameplan. When you do that, your priorities should be comfort, radness and in the 21st century there are more conscientious options available if you care about where stuff comes from and how it’s made. Some surf brands in the UK are leading the charge and Rapanui is no exception.

Our mediumweight flannel is made from 100% organic cotton and made in Portugal.

Portugal is where Supertubos is: And after learning that, our test pilot reported, after wearing one, he surfed better 80% of the time 20% of the time. Coincidence? Try one out and let us know.
organic cotton flannel shirt

Someone please do a recycled fin?

This one is a placeholder, because despite a day of googling, we couldn’t find a recycled plastic set of surfboard fins for futures fin boxes. There’s so much waste plastic in the oceans and companies are making products from innovative recycling techniques, including super fine synthetic textiles for clothing. It seems like an easy win that something like a surfboard fin, which is essentially some injection moulded piece of plastic, could be made using post-consumer recycled plastics. Imagine how radical the patterns could be if they left the plastic as it was found, random, multi coloured. Calling all surf entrepreneurs out there, here’s your niche! Or has someone done it? If so, please let us know – whole squad of surfers this end want to buy a set.

recycled surfboard fins

Take a little away

Barrels and barrels of rubbish. This photograph by Zak Noyle is iconic for all the wrong reasons. The photo shows Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya surfing a barrel thick with rubbish. Zak and Dede had been scouting surf spots in a remote cove on the Indonesian Island of Java.

“It was crazy. I kept seeing noodle packets floating next to me,” “It was very disgusting to be in there; I kept thinking I would see a dead body of some sort for sure.” sais lensman Zak.

Here’s a tube trashed by trash – like too many places all over our planet now, plastic free beaches are now just fading memories. So here’s an idea, when you next head out surfing pick up just piece of rubbish and take it with you, you’ll be doing something good for the planet.surfer in plastic waste zak noylePhoto: Zak Noyle

Spread the message

A report out by the Ellen MacArthur foundation found that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. A sad stat in a sea of sad stats about our oceans.Plastics like drinking straws and plastic bottles wear down into microplastics and bioaccumulate, affecting the entire ecosystem from plankton to fish to the top predators, like us. There are alternatives – like making stuff from natural materials like organic cotton. Check out our range of organic cotton t-shirts, spread the message and help stop ocean plastics.
save our seas


Pristine white, littered with blue.

Climate change used to be a grave risk for the future, but now many of the dangers have gone beyond prediction to become reality. The pace of our lives makes gradual changes almost unnoticeable. But stopping to look, as Timo Lieber has done with his photography project, THAW, shows the reality of melting ice.

We’ve decided to bring back the blog. It used to be super popular and with the world increasingly sailing in choppy waters, it felt like a good time to dust off the typewriter and start publishing again. We wanted to start with a blog about THAW. These pictures seem to bring a fresh, new 21st century perspective to the fact that our ice caps are melting.

This is a global, scientific problem caused by a massive population powered by fossil fuels that’s changing the planet on a geological scale.

These pictures were shot by Timo with help from some friends in the scientific community to shine a light on what has been an out of sight, out of mind acceleration in the melt rate at one of the world’s most important ice repositories.

Melting Ice Caps

Timo got these shots of the Greenland ice cap from the air where surface lakes have started forming in increasing numbers.

A landscape you’d expect to be pristine white is just littered with blue.

The ice sheet loses as much as 38,000,000,000 tonnes of ice annually: When it all melts, the cap could create a 7m global rise in sea levels which will alter the shape of our entire civilisation.

From the threat of sea levels, extremes in weather and the effect on a biosphere that provides the foundation for our own lives, it’s clear that a fast scientific solution is needed.

Greenland Melting Ice Caps
Melting Ice Caps in Greenland
Melting Polarbear habitat

What an amazing project to start off our new series of blogs on climate change and future economies. You can read more about THAW on Timo Liebers blog at Timolieber.com/thaw

Explore more of Lieber’s THAW project: Instagram // Facebook // Twitter

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