Episode #30 - We bought an off-the-shelf ethical supply chain

Show notes

I was delighted to have Rob Drake-Knight on the show this week.

He is one of the two brother co-founders (along with Martin, pictured together on the right) of Rapanui, an ethical clothing business taking supply chain traceability to another level. You can read more about the story here.

With a few hundred quid in their pocket, a garden shed as premises and a box of t-shirts, Rob and Martin set about creating a new brand whose power could influence customers to think more carefully about where the clothes they wear come from.

Eight years later and that is exactly what Rapanui is doing – and much much more.

As well as exploring the intricacies of running the business from the Isle of Wight, we also talk extensively about Teemill, a new feature of the business which allows anybody, anywhere to tap into the Rapanui factory, supply chain and back-end operations and start their own t-shirt business – with matching ethical, organic and fully traceable product credentials.

And as I rather excitedly explain at the end of this week's show, we decided to play around with Teemill ourselves and ended up setting up our very own t-shirt business. You can visit it here.

This is what the home page looks like....


This blog explains a bit more about the premise of the store and the range of products we have created. But essentially, if you’re a green geek and get excited about the words and wisdom of environmentalists, pioneers and innovators across the world of sustainable business, then you will hopefully love the t-shirts I have in the store.

Each is emblazoned with a great quote from the great and good of environmentalism – from the late great Ray Anderson and Jonathon Porritt, to Nick Stern and Peter Drucker.

Happy (ethical, conscious) shopping!

Episode #12 - Buy Me Once, for products designed to stand the test of time

Show notes

Thankfully there has been a bit of an environmentalist backlash against the current epidemic of over consumption. Episode #10's Tom Cridland is a great example of a business building things to last (in Tom's case, t-shirts with a 30-year guarantee) and this week's guest, Tara Button, is challenging companies to really get on top of the "crap and clutter" that makes up people's lives by encouraging them to buy less and buy quality.

BuyMeOnce.com is a website showcasing all the companies that offering products that are built to last – from Le Creuset kitchenware and Dr Martens shoes, to Feelgood beds and Mason Pearson hair accessories.

Tara's mission: to make buying things that are built to last easy. And through accompanying blogs, she offers a range of tips on how to take good care of things and to repair them if necessary. “We want people to buy just a few great things they love rather than huge amounts of clutter,” she says. Ultimately, she wants her business to start challenging manufacturers to build products that last longer and shift our culture of consumption – from ‘throwaway’ to ‘keep’ or ‘pass on’.

Check out the website here.