From the founders

Rapanui lives to create products responsibly and positively because we believe that through good design, a waste-free world is possible in our lifetime. It means enough to us to make that happen ourselves.

We grew up on the beautiful Isle of Wight, living what we thought was a normal life, surrounded by water. The beach a playground. Falling asleep with sandy feet. Everyone has a home, and that is what ours feels like. What is different on an Island is that the limits to what land and nature can support are clear.

The same coast you can surf at is the same place the economy meets nature; a place where stuff surfaces or comes ashore- stuff you know shouldn’t be there. If pollution washes up or causes harm in the heart of the place you love, it hurts. Perhaps that’s why what some people call sustainability started for us quite early.

There’s also something about being an Islander that is both limiting and liberating: We don’t know much about how the big world works. But then again, if you’re looking to do everything differently anyway, that’s ok. It seemed obvious to us that products should be made from natural materials and designed to come back and be remade when they’re worn out.

So we decided to do something about it.

Back in 2008, we started making products in a shed armed with £200. Eliminating waste was a neat mission to have as we couldn’t afford to waste anything on that budget. We also learned early on that a good T-shirt should be organic and soft yet tough to last, or survive a surprise seagull attack. To do all that, we needed to invent new materials, technology, supply chains, and entirely new types of factories of our own. Compared to wait-and-hope environmentalism, building the solutions to problems firsthand really works.

Yet redesigning how stuff is made shouldn't be about sacrifice or going without. Nice things, rad things- products that make people feel: Comfortable, happy, confident, the future is meant to feel exciting and positive. Beyond just keeping what we love about great products, the colour, utility, style- we want to make better products, not just lesser products. Doing all that with clean energy and clean materials is the challenge of our lifetimes.

Doing things different to business as usual can feel daunting, but doing it together has made it feel like an adventure. As more people discovered the brand and our vision for a better way of life, the community has continued to grow. And other young Islanders in the team, together with our amazing customers, have taken the brand, the products and the voice forward to inspiring new places beyond what we could have imagined alone.

Recently, we’ve launched other projects designed to share the technology behind Rapanui with other brands and manufacturers to help clean up the industry. There’s a TED talk for all that.

  • But like the Island and the materials we use, this brand is where our hearts always come back to, full circle. Back home on the Isle of Wight, with a sunrise and some salt water, today feels like a good day to take a step forward toward a future we can all get excited about.

    For the same reason we started, to #protectallwelove.