Met Office launches eco t-shirt range
13th December 2011, Isle of Wight
The Met Office, the UK's national weather service, has launched a range of weather related eco t-shirts made by leading UK eco fashion brand Rapanui. The collection features a range of bold weather related designs inspired by the imagery, science and history of the Met Office and is made using eco fabrics in a wind powered factory in India.
Mart Drake-Knight co-founder and designer at Rapanui said: "The Met Office is the international authority on climate change research, as well as being our national weather service that provides weather forecasts that we can trust and rely on."
"At Rapanui we think that it's not that people don't care about climate and the environment, it's just that they don't know where to start when it comes to organic, ethical or low carbon alternatives," Drake-Knight says.
"Our brand is about making eco fashion cool and accessible. We were delighted when we were invited to design these Met Office t-shirts. I think as well as being a nod to the Met Office's heritage and expertise, we managed to add a bit of ‘Britishness' and humour to capture the spirit of ‘the weather' as a subject."
The collaboration builds on the successes of the first range of t-shirts launched in May 2011.
Luke Green from the Met Office said: "Weather fascinates everybody and this clothing provides a fun way of reaching new audiences about the work the Met Office does. We are delighted to be working with Rapanui again to design and produce this new collection which is the first step in developing new collaborations to promote our brand."
Rapanui designs and makes casual wear in line with the latest trends, but aims to do so from more sustainable materials. The company uses ethically accredited factories that are powered by wind and solar energy - and by using cutting edge eco-textiles, creates products that are said to have a unique natural softness and feel when worn. Rapanui says the result is clothing that looks great and feels great too.
Rapanui says that whilst the organic, ethical and low carbon approach to its supply chain is unique, its real contribution to sustainability has come from the traceability of its products, its work towards improving traceability in the industry and the conversation this has sparked between shoppers, brands and manufacturers.
"Using the company's trace mapping tool, at Rapanui customers can find out exactly where its products come from, how and where they are made: From the seed being sewn, picked, spun, sewn and transported. It is traceability from seed to shop," the company says.
Rapanui says it has also developed a potential industry-changing ecolabelling system to summarise the detailed and often confusing information on clothing packaging, which it says makes it easy for consumers to shop quickly with a conscience.
According to Rapanui, this ability to make a quick informed choice is something missing from, but entirely compatible with, the high street. The work has gained national recognition in the press and at awards ceremonies and has been taken on by high street brands looking to replicate the company's success.
A draft proposal is set to be presented at a parliamentary commission later this year, with a view to be proposed as EU legislation. "In just 3 years of trading, this exciting new brand has already made a substantial contribution to sustainable fashion and created real change in an industry plagued with bad ethics," Mart Drake-Knight, designer, sums up Rapanui.
"Fashion is like no other medium, in that you literally dress yourself in what you believe in. Rapanui gives people a choice to vote with their wallet for ethical fashion. We want to use the power of fashion to make eco cool, and design traceable, transparent products that let you shop quickly with a conscience."
Rapanui was founded in 2008 by Rob and Martin Drake-Knight, now aged 24 and 26, with £200 savings. They feature on the Future 100 list of Top Young Entrepreneurs, whilst Rapanui featured on the Top 100 Start-ups list of 2008. They have sought no investment and make every effort to encourage other young people to believe in their ability to create successful, sustainable businesses.
The MET Office t-shirts are available online via the Rapanui website
Author: Billy Hunter