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Rapanui named Isle of Wight business of the year

Wed 28 Nov 2012

Rapanui named Isle of Wight business of the year

Clothing firm Rapanui has been named the Isle of Wight's best business of the year, having come a long way from its launch in 2008 with a £200 investment.

The eco-fashion firm was founded by brothers Rob and Martin Drake-Knight, who expressed their pleasure at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry's decision to offer them the coveted prize.

Rapanui also picked up the Lloyds TSB Cardnet Green Business Award and Rob Drake-Knight was delighted to be awarded the most prestigious award of the ceremony, reports the Isle of Wight County Press.

"You think that sort of award is reserved for the island's big businesses; it's amazing, brilliant," said the entrepreneur.

Originally an online-only establishment, Rapanui also runs a small store and coffee shop in Sandown on the Isle of Wight.

Hoping to promote the brand's focus on sustainability, ethical sourcing and traceability in a bricks-and-mortar context, the shop has links with numerous local businesses and is largely made with reclaimed materials.

"It's a different approach to retail, but it feels like a good way of doing things. The store covers a lot of ground and if you're ever in the area, we'd love to welcome you in for a look around," the brothers explained.

In addition to serving fair-trade organic coffee, the site serves food made from locally-sourced ingredients, described as "the real, fresh taste of the Isle of Wight".

The Rob and Mart Drake-Knight grew up in Sandown and founded the business in 2008 aged 20 and 22 respectively, believing that their unique low-carbon approach mean they can offer consumers an especially green experience when shopping for clothes.

Mart and Rob feature on the Future 100 list of Top Young Entrepreneurs, while Rapanui featured on the Top 100 Start-ups list of 2008, underlining its status as one of the island's brightest prospects.ADNFCR-3083-ID-801496880-ADNFCR

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