A reader just recently left a comment turning me onto the UK-based cold weather surf company Finisterre out of Cornwall, England. I have never seen the product up close, but I became a fan of the brand immediately. First, it's so perfectly pared down and simple—the company stresses its functional fashionability without trying too hard. Aesthetically I love that their women's jackets, tees, sweaters, button-downs, et al, aren't wildly different from the men's offerings. In fact, the colors and designs are almost exactly the same and there isn't that way-too-many-darts-for-a-down-jacket thing that is beyond irritating (this photo says it all) and so common in women's outerwear. On top of all of this, the history of the brand and its ethos is not only ethical, but really actually inspiring. Here's a few snippets from Finisterre founder Tom Kay:
So without any design experience - in fact no business experience at all, I decided that I'd start a clothing company that would challenge the villains of the day as I saw them. The big corporate surf companies. Making cheap cotton t-shirts in far-flung, un-named factories that they'd sell to folk that had never been near the water. You know the kind of businesses I'm talking about. Little integrity and no transparency.
So seven years later, what's the journey been like? Business heads tell us that they could have done it twice as fast for half the money. I don't think they're wrong. But for us, it was more about the adventure. Mistakes have been made for sure (there may well be more to come), but it was never about a formula, more about throwing caution to the wind and experiencing things money could never buy.
[Thank you so much Aya for the recommendation]