Finisterre is a cool, surf-oriented outdoor clothing company from Cornwall, UK, for whom we have a lot of respect. And so it seems does Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), for they've nominated Finisterre as Small Company Fashion Finalists in their 2009 Good Business Awards.
David Bowles, Head of External Affairs for the RSPCA said in the media release: "We have had a record quality and quantity of entries to this year's fashion category - a clear indication that companies are responding to the shift away from disposable fashion and towards responsible consumerism. [...] These companies, who are striving to implement exceptional welfare standards, deserve our recognition as they set the standard for others to work towards." Judges Impressed
One of the three judges for the RSPCA, designer Wayne Hemingway, was quoted as saying: "We are genuinely impressed by the calibre of entries this year, not only from the smaller, ethically minded companies but also from the growing number of high street retailers who are listening to customers and making huge steps forward for animal welfare.
"When retailers on this scale address these issues, you really do have to be hopeful that we have reached a tipping point and the world is starting to listen."
Specifically Finisterre were awarded Finalist's standing "for the company's no mulesing policy and their sourcing of merino fabrics. They are also looking to source feathers from a free range sourcing programme in Poland."
Whether they stand on the winner's podium yet again* won't be known until 7 October 2009.
But that hasn't held up Finisterre from debuting a smart new look 2009 merino wool line sourced from the Australian island state of Tasmania. The superfine 17.5 micron merino can be traced from sheep to shelf. Is sourced from Natural Tasmanian Wool accredited farms and processed and knitted in EU eco-label certified spinners. It is detailed with ISO 100 approved aso-free dyes & inks.
The range has been extended to included more women's styles and colours, as well as adding boxers and leggings.
But it's not just their wool collection which has a refresh. Their membrane and coating free, Biomimetric foul weather gear is now made from a 100% recycled ripstop polyster outer, with an exclusive warp knitted polyester lining that wicks moisture outwards to keep the wear dry. Swiss RiRi waterproof Aquazips are incorporated into a new even freer-moving, yet streamlined cut.
Even the more casual beeswax impregnated, polyester/cotton Matansuka jackets have emerged with an updated tailored style.
More groovy Finisterre products, particularly new and revised insulation pieces, will be released as autumn progresses and then winter takes hold.
As we've said before this is brand well worth keeping an eye on. This is a tiny company stepping up to major challenges. They don't have a huge range, but every piece with very well thought out, from a performance perspective, but also from an environmental impact viewpoint.
For example, in direct contrast to most apparel firms, Finisterre are striving to bring as much of their product's production as close to home as possible. Last time we mentioned how they were in the process of sourcing a special British type of merino. Now they've arranged for their Biomimetric shellwear to be made in the United Kingdom.
* Previously they've scored the ISPO Brand New Award and Observer newspapers Ethical Award.
More Finisterre Technical Apparel
• Finisterre: Making Tracks in the Green Wave
• Dropping In On Finisterre: Eco-Technical Surfwear
• Finisterre Clothing Keep On Winning Awards
• Black Sheep Finisterre Warms to Techy Merino Wool
• Finisterre Pull the Wool Over Their Eyes. Willingly.