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Rapanui Clothing LTD

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Edinburgh Zoo Pandas and Their Edible T-Shirts

An eco fashion brand has teamed up with Edinburgh Zoo to make t-shirts for their new Giant Pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang.

Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, December 15, 2011 --( With the Zoos conscious to raise awareness about conservation, they recruited Eco fashion brand Rapanui, winners of the RSPCA Good Business awards, to create a t-shirt made from bamboo - but rather than going on the Panda’s plate, these t-shirts are being sold alongside the visitor’s attraction to raise money and contribute to their upkeep.

Bamboo is hailed as a fabric of the future, Mart Drake-Knight, Co-founder and designer explains:

"Bamboo is an amazing fabric, it is as soft as silk but half the price, it grows fast without water, pesticides or fertilisers, Bamboo has a lot of potential as a sustainable textile, not to mention the softness and kind-to-skin properties that make them feel great."

Rapanui recently won the RSPCA Innovation in Fashion award for its approach to traceability and animal welfare, and claim their mission is to make eco cool: “Eco fashion is no longer about itchy brown socks, we want to use the power of cool to inspire wider lifestyle choices” said Co-founder Rob Drake-Knight. The Guardian recently described Rapanui as ‘bang on trend’.

A percentage of the profit from each t-shirt sold to the zoo shop has been donated by Rapanui to the Edinburgh Royal Zoological Society. The t-shirts are available to purchase in the Edinburgh Zoo Shop.

For more images of the t-shirts visit:

Notes to Editor
We think it’s great to raise awareness of conservation and sustainability. That’s the plan at Edinburgh, to create a destination for people to go and learn all about conservation in real life.

We understand though, that keeping animals in captivity is a sensitive issue – and it’s right that there are groups that look out for animals, and question motives. Are we benefiting this endangered species with captive breeding programs? Is it cruel or do the animals know no different, having been bred in captivity?

Or is all the above a fair price to pay if thousands of visitors go away educated and inspired to do more for conservation in their lives.

If nothing else, bringing Pandas to the UK is a great opportunity to get people thinking – and talking – about sustainability, and what we want to do about it, we’re stoked to be involved.

About Rapanui:
At Rapanui we design and make casual wear in line with the latest trends, but from more sustainable materials. We use ethically accredited factories that are powered by wind and solar energy - and by using cutting edge eco-textiles, we create products that have a unique natural softness and feel when worn. The result is clothing that looks great and feels great too.

Whilst the organic, ethical and low carbon approach to our supply chain is unique, our real contribution to sustainability has come from the traceability of our products, our work towards improving traceability in our industry and the conversation this has sparked between shoppers, brands and manufacturers. Using our trace mapping tool, at Rapanui you can find out exactly where our 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.

Rapanui has also developed a potentially industry-changing ecolabelling system to summarise the detailed and often confusing information on clothes packaging, and make it easy for consumers to shop quickly with a conscience. This ability to make a quick informed choice is something missing from, but entirely compatible with, the high street. This work has gained national recognition in the press and at awards ceremonies and has been taken on by high street brands looking to replicate our 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 25 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.

Contact Information
Rapanui Clothing LTD
Rob and Mart Drake-Knight
01983 873430

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