Rapanui is an eco-fashion brand from the Isle of Wight, which produces fashion clothing for men and women from organic and natural fabrics. Brothers Rob and Martin Drake-Knight, founded the company in 2008, are all set the open the new Â£100,000 production facility in March, bringing a large proportion of its manufacturing back from India.
It specialises in making fashion clothing for men and women from organic, natural fabrics in ethically accredited factories powered by wind and solar energy.
The company plans to open a new screen printing facility in Coqwa with plans to increase the workforce to 22 within three years.
Co-founder Rob Drake-Knight said that reshoring some of their production makes good business sense. Their raw material, cotton will still be sourced in India but they plan to cut and make here and do as much printing, embroidery and finishing of the garments in the UK. This will improve availability of product from 80% currently to nearer 100%.
In addition to this, they are a social enterprise that is passionate about creating more local jobs and providing opportunities for young people. Over the next three years they plan to grow from 10 staff to 22; at least half of the new jobs will be in production.
Another job creating opportunity is in their start-up incubation area. Rapanui donates 5% of their floor space free to start-up businesses â€“ they get an office, heating, light, electricity, wifi, phone, rent, rates advice and contacts. Three successful start-ups have spun out of their incubation area in the last 18 months.
Reshore UK, a new service backed by UK Trade and Industry and the Manufacturing Advisory Service, described the Island firm as a shining example of a manufacturer bringing back production as well as creating new jobs in the UK
Brothers Rob and Martin Drake-Knight are passionate about investing in the Island and this move is going to mean more new jobs, especially for young Islanders.
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