Cornwall specialist outdoor gear developers win Observer Ethical Business Award

Finisterre, a small 4 year old company based on the cliff tops of St Agnes, has won major national recognition for their ethical standards and dedication while building up a portfolio of outdoor clothing encompassing ground breaking R&D in fabric technology and a range of natural and recyclable fibres.

This surf culture young company was amongst distinguished company at the Observer Ethical Business awards: other category winners include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Ken Livingstone and the Natural Collection. Runners up include Jamie Oliver and David Cameron. The judges have high standards: they included Trevor Baylis (inventor), Colin Firth, Natalie Imbruglia, Jon Snow, Elle Macpherson and Deborah Meadon.

Lucy Siegle of The Observer wrote ‘we were weighing up the merits of very successful campaign groups, businesses and projects alongside new, emerging ideas, solutions and designs. All panelists were alert to so called greenwash. Ultimately we voted for the people, places and solutions who really mean it’.

Finisterre have spent 6 years researching, developing and innovating new fabrics and fabric combinations to produce an impressive range of jackets, fleeces and base layers, mainly targeted at the surf market, but coveted by outdoor enthusiasts from all sports and from all over the world.

GQ Magazine declared the Finisterre Anabatic shell jacket one of the ‘100 Best Things Right Now’ last year.

Tom Kay, founder of Finisterre declared: ‘We are absolutely stoked and honoured. We don’t push environmental and social issues to turn a profit, or achieve greater market share: it is simply at the core of what we do, since day one. These awards examine transparent environmental and social agendas. Our win follows a great year, during which we won an ISPO Brand New award, were invited to the House of Lords and asked to speak to Al Gore on ethical issues.

The Observer wrote: ‘This is clearly no fashion label. In fact its all about testing convention, from the way they (very efficiently) run their mail order through the tiny local post office, shun cheap fabrics in favour of renewable or recyclable fibres and have pulled out of China …. In favour of working with nuns in Columbia and a women’s outreach project.

‘Our panelist eco-designer Max McMurdo appreciated the way the brand had resisted the temptation to go too high end, as so many ethical labels do, and admired the way Finisterre refused to ‘distance itself from the high street’ but instead normalized ethical production.’


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