Rapanui: Redesigning fashion to make it circular

Hear how our business customer, Rapanui, is combatting fast fashion.

Fast fashion is a big problem, with 350,000 tonnes of clothing burned or buried in landfill every year and more than half of all clothes containing plastic

Rapanui looked at everything wrong with the fast fashion industry and looked to make it right instead.

No plastic, Rapanui spin all their products from sustainably sourced organic cotton and use only paper and cardboard for their minimal packaging. Both their factories are powered by on-site renewables, with their UK factory backed up by Good Energy’s 100% renewable power too – something that saved them over 30 tonnes of carbon in 2020 alone.

Products are printed seconds after they are ordered, an innovative technology that hugely reduces waste and stock.  To complete the cycle, products at the end of their lives are returned to Rapanui to be re-spun again and again. 

Sharing their sustainable technologies

Not wanting to keep this method all to themselves, Rapanui opened up their supply chain, renewably powered factory and technologies to others for free, by launching Teemill. Inspired by the green credentials, hundreds of businesses have opened their own online Teemill store, helping make green fashion accessible to the masses.

As a business that set out to redesign the way clothes are made, we knew we had to build on a foundation of renewables. From the moment we turned on our first laptop to the factories we build and run today, Good Energy helped us start and scale our energy sustainably. Today we're a customer and a generator. But it started with a simple choice, to switch.

We'd recommend Good Energy to anyone that looks at the climate crisis and wants to be part of the solution.

Mart Drake-Knight, Co-Founder, Rapanui and Teemill

The challenge

  • A start up with one goal: to make the business circular. This involved building on a foundation of renewable energy.
  • In the early days of the business, their factory burnt down, leading to them redefining how the technologies worked together.
  • They wanted to generate their own power to be mostly self-sufficient.

The solution

  • A factory powered by on site renewable energy, and backed up by Good Energy when the sun isn’t shining.
  • Use of smart technology that turns on and off when needed, to match up with renewable electricity generation.
  • Rapanui is a longstanding Good Energy customer, saving them XXX tonnes of carbon in 2020 alone.

Watch Mart chat with our CEO, Juliet Davenport

 

Juliet davenport chats with founder of Rapanui, Mart Drake Knight
Better Business: Juliet speaks with Rapanui founder, Mart Drake Knight

In this episode, Juliet and Mart chat about how Rapanui was founded, how its purpose has been challenged over the years, and what on earth they did after their factory burnt down. They discuss everything that is wrong with fast fashion, and how companies should do things differently.