After ruining my only basic white t-shirt beyond repair, planting hop plants, I decided it was time to invest in a new one. Despite my commitment to second hand fashion, I wanted my new basic tee to be new to ensure that it was still looking fresh. I decided to have a look into buying one from a sustainable brand. However, it came as no surprise to me that a new t-shirt from an ethical and sustainable brand made from eco friendly materials was not going to be cheap or affordable for me, particularly since I am currently unemployed.
This is something that is very frustrating about sustainable fashion - it's simply not accessible for all. Whether it's the hefty price tag or limited sizing range, it's not exactly feasible for everyone to shop from sustainable brands.
Despite this, I continued with my search and came across Rapanui Clothing. The founders, Mart and Rob, have been worried about the vast amounts of waste on our planet since they were very young and so set up Rapanui Clothing in order to try and combat waste in the fashion industry.
Their products are made from natural, organic materials and are made using renewable energy. The organic cotton use for their products is grown in Northern India where the monsoon season fills reservoirs which provides all the water needed to grow the thirsty crop. They aim to have a circular supply chain, meaning that once your clothing has been worn out, you can send it back and the fabric will be recycled into something else. This is an important factor of sustainable fashion. The designer and manufacturers should be responsible for products from their creation to the end of the garment's life. This is the exact approach that Rapanui Clothing takes and you can see what happens at each step of the process, from growing the cotton to postage, on their website.
They also take responsibility during the manufacturing process of their materials. The clothing industry is well known for dumping toxic wastewater into nearby rivers. However, at the Teemill factories where their products are made the water is recovered, cleaned and recirculated. Once it's been through this process, it is literally clean enough to drink.
Another great thing about the brand is that each t-shirt is made to order, meaning that they don't have bulk stock that isn't going to sell and ultimately end up in landfill. They only make what is actually needed.
They also give you the opportunity to create your own t-shirt designs and store with Teemill. by doing this you are given access to their technology and materials, meaning they will help you build your own sustainable t-shirt store. Pretty cool huh?
I am really happy that I found out about Rapanui Clothing since they make sustainable, ethical clothing more affordable and I love the transparency of their brand. They really are setting a good example for the fashion industry. And, they don't just sell t-shirts they also sell hoodies, sweatshirts, shirts, beanies, plastic free jackets, underwear and more. I particularly like the idea of their bundles, containing a few different items at a discounted price.