Isle of Wight fashion brand creates a software platform, factory and rebrands to tackle plastic pollution in its own way. 

In 2008, fashion brand Rapanui launched on the Isle of Wight. Two brothers began creating T-Shirts. However, it was easy to see that the fashion industry just wasn’t ethical. Clothes are made, sold, used and more often than not discarded. Rapanui knew this had to stop with their own clothing. They had to secure a better, sustainable brand.

So! Rapanui starting implementing the necessities for a circular process within its industry.

The birth of TeeMill

An ethical, Teemill T-Shirt

After working for many years to design a circular supply chain, the company that began as a fashion brand, re-launched as the Teemill platform in 2018. It had created the Teemill software which enables itself and others in the fashion industry to be more sustainable and ethical in the process chain.

Using only recovered, natural materials even for packaging, Teemill has created a circular process.

Teemills designs eliminate waste at each step of the material supply chain, applying disruptive technology to minimise overstocking, and maximise material recycling, with the hopes that open source and circularity will lead to much needed rapid change in the fashion industry. Not only that, but Teemills software platform is available for free to any other brands wishing to use it – in an effort to make the world a plastic-free place.

The Sustainable Teemill process

Every step of every T-Shirt made and printed by Teemill is sustainable. From the organically farmed cotton seed, through to the packaging and recycle process.

Renewable energy is used throughout the Teemill supply chain. At it’s UK site, it owns a solar farm, while in India, the factory owns two wind farms and a 150kw PV array. Renewable energy is affordable, reliable and something Teemills is committed to investing in.

Wind Farms at Teemill, India

In India, the organic cotton farmers are producing ‘healthier’ cotton without the use of pesticides etc. In addition, the farmers are paid a fair trade, good price for their cotton and the waste produce from the cotton processing is harvesting back into the farm.

Teemill uses ‘realtime ordering, which means it only produces the number of T-shirts ordered, equally less waste. Any waste cotton that does occur used as packaging. The fashion brand has seemingly managed to phase out waste / single use plastic throughout its processes.

Finally, each T-Shirt has a QR code imprinted into its label. To return the T-Shirt for recycling, customers scan the code, print the label and return.

You can read more about Teemills processes and the journey from seed to T-shirt here.