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Category: Inside Rapanui
Springtime seems to be when Rapanui goes quiet for a few weeks, followed by some sort of trick up sleeve, party magician moment. And 2014 is no different.
As some of the hardcore in the Rapanui wolfpack may know, this humble clothing company started in a shed with a basic idea - it's not that people don't care about sustainability, they just don't know. So could a brand make a difference to that issue? "Rapanui takes what people need and packages it as what they want", as someone really clever once said. Couldn't have put it better ourselves. Fast forward to our first shop, or second, and a little further, and you'll find us here. Hello. Just breaking ground on our grand designs moment, the Rapanui Factory.
Yep, we're building our first UK factory. See, most of our stuff starts life in India and gets shipped over. But as we've grown, we've found we want to do more stuff like experiment with waste recovery, and recycling. And started thinking about how we could reduce waste, or develop new products, or print different ways, react faster and give better customer service. All of which is quite difficult, as when you work with suppliers, they've got their own ideas about how to run their businesses... (fair enough) but for us, we want to change business as usual. We can't do that by being a usual business.
What would happen if we make a t-shirt that could MICROWAVE itself back into a polymer to be recycled into a new t-shirt, you ask?
We asked that kind of thing too, and many more questions. Now we have the space and facilities to answer those kind of questions. Best of all there's loads of unexpected positive things that've come from it. It's meant that we can do employment better. Some of you know that we try and improve the quality of life of unemployed young people on the Island through our Social Enterprise project. Well, 'reshoring' a lot of our manufacturing stuff helps us do that, the way we want, and creates jobs.
A year ago we blogged a little statement, sort of a vision for where we were going: Towards a circular economy, with better products, better service, better prints, more radical developments. It took a year to get it all together, and now all the chips are in: The factory is the next stage on what we hope will be a game changing journey.
It might not all go smoothly. Some projects will not work out. Yet we may also stumble upon the invention that is the sliced-bread moment of the sustainability world.
Either way, get your balloons, party poppers and caterpillar cake ready as there'll be an opening party soon...
...and we've installed a zip line.
Road to Nowhere
Sometimes along the journey there seem to be people who have managed to craft a talent or quality into their work that it becomes more than creative, more than just work. It becomes art. Tomas Hein is that kind of guy.
Rapanui ambasador Gordon the Gfon Fontaine and Tomas palled up for a trip up to Scotland recently, and what came back was film of such a high photographic quality it is, in our opinion, more than film: It's art. You might disagree. But then, that's the internet.
Check out his video, Road to Nowhere, featuring Gfon, majestic Scotland, some seriously good waves. Incredible.
Eagle-eyed people in the Rapanui wolfpack may have spotted a not-so-little development on the blog recently, the Rapanui Factory project. It means amazing job opportunities.
The cool thing about the factory is that it allows ust to do loads of nifty stuff, experiments and designs to speed up our product development, improve service and make Rapanui bigger, better and more radical.
That also means awesome careers here on the Isle of Wight, where we surround ourselves with surf, sun and, unbeknown to much of the population, one of the world's finest collections of dinosaur fossil hunting opportunities. Eat that, Lyme Regis.
Anyway, as a result of the factory project, we're hiring. Rapanui is an exciting, fast-paced environment to work where a bunch of young people come in each morning seeking greatness.
"It's like being part of a revolution... man."
So says Charlie, a designer and photographer who's been with us working on an awesome project to be released in a month or so.
It doesn't matter if you're fresh out of school and looking to an apprenticeship to fast-track into an awesome job, or a seasoned high-achiever looking to answer the 'what now' bug with a the devastatingly powerful project that will make your career. Rapanui has a simple philosophy: Drive, determination, professionalism, a burning ambition to become better and be part of something amazing: If you're hungry for the challenge of a lifetime, you'll love it.
We work hard, play hard and are a cliqueless place that expects everyone to be their best,and we make a point of having no glass ceilings: An apprentice who was applying for a cleaning job is now our FD (sorry Luke, you'll never escape that story). It's why we have an epic employee share options scheme. We might not pay London wages, but owning a part of a company that you helped build? Well, that's just damn cool.
(and financially very nice too)
If you're foaming at the mouth and smashing your mouse roller back into it's plastic housing at the thought of working here, become sustainability's sliced bread: Apply.
7 favourite things
Welcome to our new weekly feature, where we'll be sharing the most awesome stories, videos and snaps that we've found in the last 7 days.
There's all sorts here - kick ass surfing and Carl Sagan, serious progress, sustainability and more. Get it down you!
1. Dillon Perillo's 'Empty Stint' is Unreal.
Photo:'Empty Stint', shot and edited by Jackson Winner
First up - this rad Dillon Perillo short. It's basically a video of Perillo ripping, narrated by Carl Sagan. What's not to love?
2. We Could All Drown.
Inspired by a piece I read on the Guardian earlier this week, I spent a lot of time checking out what the world would look like if the Ice Caps melted. Different, is the answer.
3. The UK Win(d).
Photo: Vattenfall Wind Power, Denmark
Did you know that the UK gets more electricity from offshore wind turbines than all other countries combined, and is set to triple its current capacity within six years? Good job, us.
4. Our New Collection.
We've had a great week for our new collection - big progress with designs and some banging new fabrics. Watch this space, it's going to be rad.
5. It's Cardboard, But It's Awesome.
Photo: Property of the Re-Ply
Cardboard is really strong. It's an amazing resource that could be taken out of the waste cycle and used - check out this amazing chair by the Re-Ply. Cardboard is awesome.
6. Kovered = Kool.
We discovered Kovered this week - a couple of cool guys based in Bath who make cool looking, nature-inspired tech accessories. We're still trying to trade them some of our rad T-Shirts for one of their iPhone cases.
7. Shambles Representing in El Salvador.
Photos: Andrew Kilfeather & David Olsthoorn
We loved getting sent this image of Rapanui ambassador Shambles McGoldrick dropping the Rapanui Logo T-Shirt in El Salvador. Too cool.
Devastation Bad / Driftwood Good
Category: Inside Rapanui
The army have been flown in to help with flood relief. People’s houses have literally been falling into the sea. It’s been that sort of weather on the Isle of Wight recently.
We’re always ones to look for the silver lining, though. As well as a few decent waves out the front of the shop, we’ve been taking advantage of the amount of driftwood that’s been chucked onto the beach in the last couple of weeks. We’ve collected heaps of the stuff, and we promise you this: the new factory is going to look rad.
You can get your very own Rapanui Sweater or Hoodie right here. The driftwood you'll need to hit the beach for.
Category: Inside Rapanui
New spot been working this week, decided to call it sandbags in honour of all this weather we’re getting on the Island.
On that subject, hope all of you wolfpack team riders, especially the mainland division, are doing ok and hopefully not caught up in the floods.
Free Rapanui T-Shirt?
Christmas is done, it's time to relax, and to help you with that, we're giving away free t-shirts!
Starting today, all orders of over £50 will have included, completely free, one of our Rapanui Logo Tees.
Just one more way for us to say thank you to our wolfpack.
It couldn't be simpler to take advantage of this offer: any order we see in our system for more than £50 will automatically be upgraded to include an extra, completely free, Rapanui Logo T-Shirt. There's no code to enter, and no steps to follow. Easy!
The Grotto: Part 3
Category: Good Causes
Santa's back, and this time it's seasonal.
One year after his chart-busting charity single, Santa’s ego has gotten out of control. Rudolph approaches Janet Devlin off X-Factor to ask how she copes with the fame, but her wise words cannot prevent the board’s hunger for profit. The wheels are set in motion for an epic finale as Santa is forced to choose between fame and fortune at the expense of those who trust him the most, or doing what is right.
Why we did this
With two episodes of the Grotto behind us, this year became the year of the trilogy. Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Star Wars and The Grotto. It got us thinking about films. And, after all, why are we doing it? Why spend a serious amount of our time and budget on a film that is, lets face it, not really about making a profit. We realised it's because we love doing it.
There's a joy to making stuff and appreciating stuff that's personal. Whether it's a film you made, jokes you share with friends - in our case, our customers - and it feels quite homely.
We obviously wanted, in the spirit of competitiveness, to better our effort this year so it was essential to include a car chase and a shootout. And we decided we like the idea of putting the track on iTunes and raising some money for some cause. So this year we decided to give the money to a guy called Bruce, who lives in Sandown on the Isle of Wight - a seaside town that has more boarded up shops than you can shake a seagull at - and he does a lot for small, independent artists and film makers. Like running the independent film festival each year at the Ventnor Fringe, all of his own back. Or, more recently, trying to save one of the most amazing buildings Sandown has (an art-deco cinema in the town) that's waiting to be razed to put a block of flats on.
Bruce wants to raise some money to invest in it, and turn into an independent cinema to give him a place to carry on his work. Essentially, it would mean that more people could get more joy out of making films like this one. So we decided to back him, as charity isn't all about foreign countries on an epic scale. Sometimes it's about giving someone local to you a hand up to do something that benefits the community. A million little changes like that, and you'd have one fine planet to live on. So this year, buy the single and help Save the Rivoli Sandown. It means if you ever decide to come visit Rapanui, you'll have a damn fine movie just round the corner with a welcoming smile, in an amazing location that gives young artists and filmmakers somewhere to work, and show their stuff. Not just another block of flats.
Visit Bruce's indiegogo page here
Buy Two, Get One Free
A Special Christmas Offer to make this month easier: Buy any two items, and get a third one free!
To use this offer, add any three or more items to your basket and tap in the code HOHOHO, and the website will give you the cheapest one free!
This offer can't be used with any other discount codes, but it can be used for any items, including sale items, on the Rapanui online store.
To claim this offer:
- Add any three or more items to your basket
- Enter the code HOHOHO in the voucher code box
- Click "Checkout Now"
We'll sort out the rest! If all the items are the same price, the third item will be free - otherwise the cheapest item in your basket will be free.
Thanks for shopping with us, and we hope you enjoy our clothes as much as we do!
Category: Inside Rapanui
Have you ever felt a bit trilogy? It's a word that we're just starting to get used to, being on our third installment of The Grotto.
In fact, we're wondering if joining the likes of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and The Matrix is going to mark some sort of seismic shift. A milestone for us as a company. Will the story be bookended neatly? Will we end up going to hollywood for a CGI-fuelled prequel starring top actors, with a DVD box set of these here ones digitally remastered in 2015?
However, it will mean around 4 minutes of light comedy and three minutes of charity-fuelled music with bad acting and worse dancing, with a subtle and serious plot asking questions that Rapanui is trying to answer. That also may or may not be true. What is true is that you'll have to wait a week until the premiere, so hang on to your keyboards people... it's going to be big.