Rob & Mart Drake-Knight were born in Newport on the Isle of Wight and raised in Lake on the sleepy coastal resort of Sandown Bay on the Isle of Wight. They run Award-Winning Eco-Fashion brand Rapanui. Their childhood was a series of crazes – tamigotchi, yo yos, pogs, rollerblading and skateboarding – but the one that really stuck was surfing. From their clifftop home they spent a lot of time surfing Sandown bay in-between school time. Entrepreneurship started early; Mart’s most successful inventions (a fold up surfboard, a wind powered street light and a d-i-y downhill go-kart) all made it to the business proposal / patent stage thanks to older brother Rob’s appetite for business. Rapanui was their first successful venture. At 20 and 22 respectively, Rob and Mart set up their brand, which 4 years later makes some of the most eco-friendly clothing in the world, and have quickly grown to be one of the Islands success stories for young people, recently winning the Sustain Awards, the Sustainable Business awards, The RSPCA Good Business Awards and opening a new shop at 1 High Street, Sandown. They describe their business as “just another craze, but it’s got totally out of control.
Rapanui developed traceability from seed to shop for each product in 2010 and in 2012 is working with UK MEPs to lobby the EU to introduce an eco label for clothing.