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Rapanui eyes up ethical indies for wholesale push

Ethical lifestyle brand Rapanui has set its sights on wholesale expansion this year, following the appointment of a UK distributor.

The men’s and women’s young fashion brand appointed Balance Distribution as its first agent late last year and is now looking to rapidly expand its business.

It has 18 stockists, including indie outdoor specialist TYF Adventure in Pembrokeshire, Wales and etailer Surfdome.com, but aims to have 50 in a year’s time. 

Co-founder Rob Drake-Knight said: “The wholesale side has been on the back-burner for a while because we’ve been growing the brand online via the website [www.rapanuiclothing.com].”

He added that the brand would target lifestyle and eco-friendly indies but would also be interested in larger retailers. Drake-Knight said Rapanui would sit well alongside outdoor brand Patagonia and product in ethical lifestyle retailer Howies.

The brand, which is based on the Isle of Wight, is also in talks with distributors to sell overseas. Drake-Knight said: “We’re focusing on the EU and English-speaking parts of the world – the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The main focus is the northern hemisphere and we are looking at Russia, Japan and Korea.”

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