Sunday, 22 June 2008

Finisterre & Observer Ethical Awards = Cornish Gold

I'm a bit behind the curve on this news but I couldn't not give it a mention. Earlier this month Finisterre , the Cornish surf culture company, won the Observer Ethical Award for Ethical Business of the Year. Fantastic recognition for the hard work and real commitment the guys have given to founding and successfully running an ethical, sustainable, inspiring and individual company.

Here's why the judges awarded Finisterre with the Gold...

We're not into the whole corporate culture or in a rush to achieve super-aggressive sales targets,' says Finisterre founder Tom Kay, who set up the winning ethical surf-wear brand six years ago with a Prince's Trust grant. To be honest, his corporate disclaimer is superfluous once you visit the three Finisterre idealists who run the brand from their surfer caravans in St Agnes, Cornwall.

This is clearly no normal fashion label. In fact, it's 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 ('That would be considered commercial suicide for most sportswear brands,' says marketing man Ernie Capbert) in favour of working with nuns in Colombia and a women's outreach project.

Our panellist 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 normalised ethical production. The design is not bad either. GQ magazine declared the Finisterre Anabatic shell jacket one of the '100 Best Things Right Now' last year. Now we declare it an ethical winner.

Go here to see the award video and find out more.

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