Rhianna is a high school friend of Rosie Popa, Rosemary Local’s Founder. We asked Rhianna to be our November featured creative, as she is the founder and still solely runs Team Timbuktu, a sustainable athletic apparel brand.
Rhianna completed a University degree of a Bachelors of Applied Science, Fashion Design and Technology. She founded Team Timbuktu (then called Mister Timbuktu) as she was hiking in Patagonia, wearing clothes that that were made from conventional synthetic materials, meaning unfortunately they were made in an environmentally damaging way.
With her background in fashion she knew it was possible to make clothes without all the negative environmental impacts. The journey of Team Timbuktu started from crowdfunding to build a community and help fund the first production run.
Launching from an overfunded crowdfunding campaign and with no compromise on style or sustainability the brand has received media coverage from heavyweights including Marie Claire, The Urban List, Sporteluxe, Concrete Playground and The Daily Mail,
and has been listed as one to watch for it's inclusive and sustainable approach to activewear and outdoors apparel.
Right from the beginning of Team Timbuktu, all products have been made in a more environmentally responsible way, using recycled fabrics and eliminating plastic packaging. Team Timbuktu’s apparel is made from recycled plastic bottles, that have been custom engineered into fabrics. The core belief of Team Timbuktu is that all our bodies are made for movement, and there should not be a compromise between style and sustainability.
The finance and marketing components of starting a business has been the steepest learning curve for Rhianna, now she is more confident with this and it has been great to get a more holistic understanding of business and growth.
Some advice Rhianna gives to others wanting to start their own business is to “look at the numbers, figure out what your goal is and how it is possible to get there. You need a vision and a unique niche, but it is also important to know what your version of success is (as this is different for everybody)”.
In terms of living a sustainable and environmentally safe lifestyle, Team Timbuktu lead the way but stating “we know that it can be pretty overwhelming to know where to start, we've made a lot of negative environmental impact as humans so far, but we think there's an incredible opportunity to create change and improve, rather than focus on everything we've done wrong so far.”
Crowdfunding to get Team Timbuktu off the ground is a testament to communities supporting local creatives, Rhianna told us that it is so important for all of us that “supporting local and independent makers and brands is so important, encourage small businesses and those giving their own business a go”.
Team Timbuktu have set themselves a great task of being a driver of change in the fashion industry, setting themselves apart from the rest, leading by example of creating products that not only look great, promote women to be active, but also help reduce their customers environmental impact.
Team Timbuktu have just launched their latest line, their summer raincoats are made from over 30 recycled plastic bottles per jacket, and they have just launched their new bike short line. We congratulate Rhianna for having a clear vision and are inspired by her company’s mission to make a positive difference.
"You need a vision and a unique niche, but it is also important to know what your version of success is (as this is different for everybody)"