Wool Key Part of Sustainable Ethos for Acclaimed Surf Brand

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A Royal Visit for Finisterre & Ocean Plastic Solutions Day 

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall celebrated 15 years of Finisterre & Ocean Plastic Solution Day with a royal visit to the brand's headquarters on 16 July.  Working with Exmoor wool grower Lesley Prior, Finisterre was key in the resurrection of a Merino wool sheep flock in Britain.

Born from the needs of cold water surfers, Tom Kay founded the Finisterre brand in 2003 with the assistance of a Prince’s Trust loan, with the purpose of making the best and most sustainable product possible for those who share a love of the sea.

Fifteen years on, the brand’s clifftop operations at Wheal Kitty in St Agnes, Cornwall, about 400 metres from the beach, employs 60 people and supports seven stores across the United Kingdom and online.

Finisterre’s sustainable design ethos can be found right through the product range, which includes traceable Merino wool base layers, chunky knits and accessories.

Working together with Exmoor wool grower Lesley Prior, Finisterre was key in the resurrection of a Merino wool sheep flock in Britain (the breed originated in the UK), via the Bowmont Merino programme.

The Bowmont programme is proof positive that Merino wool can be grown successfully in Britain. Lesley’s Merinos are now a key feature of the Campaign for Wool, and her two ewes, young ram lamb and even younger ewe lamb not only charmed Monday’s guests but provided a visible reminder of the link between nature and apparel.

If consumers and retailers worldwide could be persuaded to invest more in wool garments, the irreparable harm being done to the marine environment would be markedly reduced, said Finisterre  in a released statement.

Wool has the ability to biodegrade in the earth as well as fresh and salt water and requires less frequent laundering than other fibres thus ensuring reduced water and energy consumption.

“One of my proudest days was when we took the sheep to Savile Row with the Campaign for Wool,” said Finisterre founder Tom Kay. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall marked the anniversary with a visit to Wheal Kitty, meeting Lesley and her sheep.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cornwall is Patron of the Campaign for Wool.

Finisterre and neighbour Surfers Against Sewage used the occasion to co-host Ocean Plastics Solutions Day, presenting a positive view to a better future, with the power to bring about real change. Key presenters included environmental journalist Lucy Siegle, author of To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World, United Nations Patron for the Oceans Lewis Pugh, Jon Khoo of Next Wave Plastics, Iceland Supermarket CEO Richard Walker, marine environmentalist Heather Koldeway, freediver and acclaimed ocean advocate Hanli Prinsloo, and marine biologist Richard Thompson OBE of Plymouth Univeristy – who coined the term microplastics.


Image credits: @yehyaalhafidh and @abbihughes_photo 

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