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The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall celebrate Ocean Plastic Solution Day and 15 years of Finisterre.

The Ocean Plastic Solutions Day Conference & Celebration event is a follow up to the successful Ocean Plastic Awareness Day in 2015, once again bringing together key stakeholders to present the progress society is making in tackling ocean plastic pollution.

Tom Kay founded Finisterre in 2003 with the help of a Prince’s Trust loan. Founded on the founding pillars of a commitment to product, environment and people, Finisterre is multi award winning and still operates from its cliff top base in St. Agnes, Cornwall, now employing 60 people with seven stores nationally. Born from the needs of cold water surfers, the brand’s purpose is to challenge the status quo, making the best and most sustainable product possible for those that share our love of the sea. The sustainable design ethos can be found right through the product range that includes traceable Merino wool base layers, chunky knits and accessories.  This is based on the Bowmont programme that saw Finisterre along with the help of an Exmoor farmer, Lesley Prior, resurrect Britain’s Merino flock that also features as part of the Campaign for Wool.

Finisterre 15 OPSD HRH Visit - HRH & Lesley Prior v1

Wool has the ability to totally biodegrade in the earth as well as in fresh and salt water, and does not require frequent laundering ensuring environmentally responsible laundering throughout the long life of a wool garment. If consumers and indeed retailers worldwide, could be persuaded to invest in wool garments, the irreparable harm being done to the marine environment would be markedly reduced.

Fifteen years on, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, commemorate Finisterre’s brand’s anniversary with a visit to Wheal Kitty. Meeting with Tom Kay, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall toured Finisterre’s Head Quarters, atop a cliff in St Agnes, North Cornwall. Meeting the team behind the brand, Their Royal Highnesses showed great interest in and support for Finisterre’s path to better business.

Finisterre 15 OPSD HRH Visit - HRH plaque unveiling v1

“To have His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall visit Finisterre to commemorate our 15th anniversary was a special moment. I founded Finisterre with the help of the Prince’s Trust loan back in 2003. More recently, I wrote to HRH thanking him for his support in the early years, inviting him to visit Wheal Kitty and see our work around sustainability and innovation first-hand. For him to join our anniversary celebrations, witnessing how the business has grown, meeting the team who’ve been fundamental in this journey, and our unwavering commitment to Product, Environment and People, was a real honour. HRH was particularly interested in our work around ocean plastic awareness and using innovation to achieve sustainability, as well as the duties we’ve committed to in order to become a B Corp certified business.” Tom Kay, founder Finisterre.

Outside the Ocean Plastic Solutions Day Conference workshop, both the Duke and Duchess had the opportunity to meet Lesley Prior and the Bowmont Merino Sheep, where Lesley presented natural fibres as an alternative to synthetic fibres, and highlighted Finisterre’s commitment to this unique British supply chain.

Marking the occasion, as well as Finisterre’s longstanding partnership with neighbours and comrades Surfers Against Sewage, the two organisations took the opportunity to partner in hosting Ocean Plastic Solutions Day. The event brought together key business leaders, innovators, NGOs, politicians, media and other stakeholders to discuss and demonstrate the progress being made towards tackling ocean plastic pollution from source to sea.

Throughout the day, delegates heard inspiring talks from the likes of Lucy Siegle from the BBC One Show, Emma Howard Boyd from the Environment Agency, Richard Walker from Iceland Supermarkets, and United Nations Patron for the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, as well as from Finisterre’s Tom Kay and Hugh Tagholm of Surfers Against Sewage, amongst others.

Finisterre 15 OPSD HRH Visit - OSPD Stage

Bringing together some of the most powerful and influential voices in the quest for cleaner, healthier seas, Ocean Plastic Solutions Day presented a positive view to better future, with the power to bring about great change.

Keep an eye on for more news from the day and its key note speeches, as well as further events celebrating 15 years of Finisterre.







Upcoming Events

Wool Month

01.10.2023 - 31.10.2023

United Kingdom

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