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tom kay tom kay

About Us

Finisterre Founder
Tom Kay

My parents brought me up with a love of the sea. This runs through Finisterre, the brand I started, born out of making innovative product for cold water surfers.

Those early memories of listening to the shipping forecast on dark, winters nights with gales raging outside stuck with me. As I grew, my love of surfing developed and with it also an obsession with the weather. I’d study isobar pressure maps for hours, scouring for swell and the right wind, I understood the commitment needed by surfers on these shores, the highs and lows of each season, the hardship and the rewards. The cold, pre-dawn starts, the fickle winds, the big, shifting tides. The rewards of discovering perfect uncrowded waves, lineups framed by medieval castles, the adventure, the camaraderie, the solitude. More than anything it was the depth of experience that I loved. At the same time, I had a desire to push innovation and product development in an industry where I felt it was lacking. So I set about building a brand that would address this need, making innovative product built for purpose that would last. I wanted the brand to be committed to a more responsible way of manufacturing, both in the fabrics we used and the manufacturers we chose to work with. Not just adding an organic line to an existing range, but a deep rooted way of making better product.

It all started in a flat above a surf shop with a three page website, then came a fleece. Waterproof, made in Devon, designed specifically for cold water surfers. From this first product over 10 years ago to a diverse range that now includes Merino backed denim jeans, jackets that can go the distance on the coldest of days, a penknife made in collaboration with a 300 year old Sheffield steel maker, and our Bowmont knitwear, the founding ingredients still ring true. We’ve stuck to our guns, incredible people have walked through the workshop doors to drive us forward, we’ve won awards, and although we’ve never been ones to go looking for them, they do help top up our tanks. One of the things I’m most proud of is seeing the places our products go and hearing the stories that go with them. I guess if it works in the harshest environments, we can be pretty confident it will hold its own anywhere and for a long time.