Rashr – Local Company Making Waves
After spending most of his 20’s traveling around the world flitting between various outdoor instructor jobs, Carrigaline man Tom Cotter returned home in 2016 when he began working on a new project that focuses solely on sustainable fashion. Nearly 3 years into his venture he now finds himself selling to an impressive list of some of the world’s rich and famous.
Since his return, Tom has embedded himself in the community. He is involved in the Crosshaven Tri Club and is currently training for a half Iron Man early next year. In addition, Tom is heavily involved in Harlequins Hockey Club, and plays league matches most weekends. “Being part of a local community sport is important to me, it’s great to have that local spirit together”
Tom also gets out on the water whenever he can! From the age of 9, Tom has always loved windsurfing and is an avid scuba diver. This all stemmed from spending numerous summers on Lefkada Island, Greece each summer, and while at college attended Kinsale FEC where he qualified as a rock climbing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking instructor.
Along with Tom’s sporting involvement he is also following in his grandad’s footsteps; Tom Morgan, who was a founding member of Carriagline Lions Club. Tom joined the Carrigaline Lions Club earlier this year where he is steadily finding his feet. Tom is assisting the committee with the Fort2Fort Cycle and enjoys the ethos of giving back to the community.
When Tom came back from Melbourne he had a desire to start his own business combining his love of water and business development that he acquired by managing one of the largest sailing centres in Australia. Tom and two friends (Alex Musgrave and John Downey) met regularly to discuss various business opportunities and what could be achieved through online marketing and a good product. Through their market research they noticed an increase in demand for rash vests (a sun protection top usually worn by surfers and sailors) due to the rise in skin cancer awareness campaigns and the growing popularity of having an active lifestyle. Rash Vests were becoming a mainstream product that all family members were buying to cover up on holidays. The plan was soon set to become the world’s biggest rash vest company.
While still in the product development stage Tom saw how damaging the traditional fashion and retail industry was on the environment. So, Tom and the team set out to address the major issues of the current industry. Fabrics, Supply Chain and Manufacturing were the three pillars they focused on.
After months of testing various fabrics, they eventually found one that fitted in with their values and beliefs.
Recovered Ocean waste plastics and post-consumer plastic bottles are collected and brought to an approved recycling facility. At the recycling facility the conversion process of turning waste into wearable fabric begins:
“The oceans face a massive and growing threat from something we encounter every day: plastics.
An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—this is roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute.”
Tom launched his company in 2017 and quickly realised the difficulties and enormous challenges of growing a global brand. Even with early success Tom knew this would take some time, money, hard work and little bit of luck.
It wasn’t until the company started getting contacted by major events around the world that wanted to create their own design but use RashR’s sustainable fabric that Tom realised, they may have stumbled upon something unique.
Fast forward to the end of 2019, Tom has opened an office in Carrigaline. He is employing 4 people locally and is looking to double this by the end of 2020.
“We’re fortunate to work with some incredible companies. We’re now creating customized eco-friendly clothing for team’s, events, super yachts, stores and resorts all over the world and have increased our range into cycling, basketball, yoga and golf”.
Nearly 97% of what Tom and the team do is shipped overseas. They work with some of the leading luxury resorts around the world. including the well-known Necker Island owned by Sir Richard Branson.
Learn more about Rashr & Tom on: https://rashr.com/
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