| Tom Kay|
Finisterre is an outdoor clothing company based in St Agnes, Cornwall, UK. Founded by Tom Kay in 2002, they are recognised as a cold water surfing company.
Finisterre (Technical Apparel) Wikipedia
In 2002, Tom Kay founded Finisterre after noticing problems with the ethics and design of many action sports brands. The initial concept for the company was to create a warm, technical clothing range for surfers to wear before and after surfing. Tom understood the needs from his own experiences, as a keen surfer himself he has been surfing all year round in all weather conditions.
Finisterre produce a range of technical clothing including merino underwear and base layers, waterproof and insulated jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies along with clothing for running and yoga. In all lines of the companies clothing range performance and sustainability are key factors. The products have been well reviewed by a number of sources for both their performance and green credentials. Exclusive fabrics such as “C-shell” used in the “Anabatic Jacket” have been developed using recycled polyester and is fully recyclable at the end of the jackets lifespan. Recycled polyester is also used to make the fill in the range of insulated jackets as well as fleeces. The range of sweatshirts and t-shirts are all produced from Organic Cotton that is grown in Eastern Europe and spun in Portugal. Finisterre produce a range of merino wool layers including long johns, underwear, vests, and short and long sleeve t-shirts. The merino wool is sourced from Australia with full traceability reports to ensure none of the sheep subjected to the practice of mulesing. Although this is not organic wool with the traceability programme ensures better welfare for the sheep producing the wool. One of the biggest developments in the Finisterre's wool range is the Bowmont Project. Finisterre have also introduced an initiative called i-spy which is clear tracability resource for all their products and materials.
The Bowmont sheep is an extremely rare breed that was bred in the 1980s to create a new high quality fibre, by crossing a Saxon Merino with a Shetland. This project was undertaken by the Macaulay Institute in order to create a breed of sheep intended as a UK rival to the fine wool of the merino sheep in New Zealand and Australia. In 2006 due to lack of funding the Macaulay Institute closed their research farm after 25 years just when the sheep were becoming consistent and the breed stabilising. At this time there wasn’t a large enough market for the fine wool so many of the sheep got either slaughtered or cross bred, creating a less luxurious fibre. Finisterre have teamed up with Lesley Prior at Devon Fine Fibres, the only keeper of purebred Bowmont sheep, to rescue the breed from the brink of extinction, create a sustainable market for the wool and aid in the breed’s development and keeping them alive. With the help of clever promotional material and viral videos the project is getting a lot of attention from the likes of Prince Charles and Savile Row with a large interest in the sustainability of producing high quality, fine wool in the UK. The Bowmont will be the finest wool sheep in Europe; only being challenged by the merino in further afield parts of the world.
The i-spy initiative is a tool on Finisterre's website that is a clear and concise source of information showing the traceability of the Finisterre products. It shows the full cycle of the Finisterre products from design through to reaching the customer. Within the cycle it enables the viewer to get detailed information about exactly what materials are used and where they are sourced, where and how the materials are processed, the location of the manufacturing and how the materials and products are transported between each of these steps.
Finisterre supports a number of athletes and adventurers in a range of pursuits. Known as ambassadors for the brand these people include:Carlos Burle - World Champion big wave Surfer
James Bowthorpe – Adventurer - Broke Round-the-world cycle record in 2009.
Hanli Prinsloo – Adventurer and Record breaking free diver
Tim Nunn – Adventurer and surf photographer
Al Mackinnon – surf photographer
Finisterre also supported former Rugby player Josh Lewsey on his attempt to climb Mount Everest. Sadly Josh did not make it to the summit due to a failure within his oxygen equipment and was forced to descend in a matter of life and death urgency.
During the companies history it has received a range of awards. Their awards include the RSPCA good business Award 2010, Observer Ethical Business Award 2008 and the Surfer’s Path Green Wave Award 2008.