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How We See Fit | Local Makers In Our Legwear

We design with fit and function in mind. With a varied crew of local makers, photographers and teachers, we put our legwear to the test in their different environments. 

James Bowden
Usually a man behind the lens, when James isn’t on location in the likes of Iceland, Portugal and beyond, he’s getting in the salt back home in Cornwall. We ventured to the South Coast with him as he tested out our Anatis Jeans, shooting the incoming swell with dog Dillon in tow.

When did you first discover your love of photography? 
When I first started travelling. I travelled first to surf - where I grew up the waves were pretty bad so you had to travel! Then when I started traveling more I wanted to share some of those experiences, so I started shooting photos more and more and fell in love with it that way. 
Where is the your favourite place you’ve travelled to for work? 
There are loads, but I have to say Iceland holds a pretty special place in my heart. The landscapes, the weather the people and the waves... love them all. 
What is a typical day when you’re back home in Cornwall? 
I guess a typical day would involve coffee, walking the dog and looking for a wave or two. My work schedule is pretty random, so I'll try and balance it out with leisure time... sometimes the scales tip a bit more on the leisure side when the waves are good!

Heather Scott 
Heather Scott is a maker whose workshop at Spargo Farm is surrounded not only by miles of countryside, but a community of likeminded creatives who share a passion for local, handmade and purpose-led craft. She showed us round the farm and tried out our Coverack Chinos for a day of welding in the workshop. 

What drew you to your craft?

I think working with a sustainable material like wood first drew me to doing the work, but also just doing things practically and making things with my hands. I always did woodwork when I was a kid; my Grandma got these chickens when I was about 14 and my parents said that I couldn’t have them unless I built them a house, so I said ‘fine then I’ll make them a house.’ That was my first project and I think that being able to do projects like that and realising that it was quite an intuitive thing to be able to build stuff was really exciting.

In terms of working with a sustainable material, where do you source your wood from and what is your environmental stance on it?

Cornwall isn’t an abundant place in terms of timber, so it is really hard to get the right balance between getting stuff locally and then getting stuff that is really good, but generally I try and source things as locally as I can. I never have firewood because I’m really efficient with how I use materials; so I actually have very few offcuts because I make the most out of a piece of timber.

Has working and living in Cornwall made a difference to your craft?

Massively. It definitely has and I’m so inspired by people all the time which keeps me excited. I think that maybe because the pace of life is a little bit slower and it is a little bit cheaper to live, it means that there is a little bit more freedom to play and to explore. That's one of the most important things for me; and it's why I set up my own business really, so I could be curious.

Victoria Harrison / Owner Of Tōro Studio
Paying a visit to plant studio Tōro is sure to give you green fingers. Owner Tor has created a tranquil haven, a jungle of green set against a backdrop of white. Giving our Anatis Jeans a spin, we spent a morning in the stillness with the plant guru herself. 

You’ve worked in really varied fields - from being a postie to roofing! - what made you want to run your own business, and specifically work with plants?

I never really knew what I wanted to do, so I just tried lots of different things; where I am now is made up of all that stuff, all of those experiences and influences. With hindsight it's easier to see how certain people, places and industries really shaped me. I knew that working with plants was very healing and being my own boss was very appealing so I went with my gut instinct when everything was pointing towards forming Toro. I feel like my career is still very mutable; I can definitely imagine doing something else down the line. It's all part of the journey right?

What are the challenges you have faced running a small, independent business in Cornwall? And the rewards?

Cornwall can be a very hard place to make a business work, and retail is a bit of an unpredictable animal too, so it has been a massive learning curve to keep level headed about everything. I really owe everything to all of my amazing customers who have supported me and my little oasis. I love that I have the same friendly faces coming back again and again to add more lush life to their spaces. For all the challenges, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. The elements ground me, the landscape inspires me and the people are built of some amazing stuff.

There’s a really strong community of female makers and creatives in Falmouth – how does it feel to be a part of that? Do you think it’s indicative of living in a place like Cornwall?

I am so lucky to share my home with so many talented, strong women in a diverse range of industries - we are all doing amazing things and all rooting for each other so whole heartedly. It makes an invaluable support network and sounding platform and is something I never want to take for granted. I think living down here and the challenges we all have to face, there are certain attributes that are invariably strengthened in us all - self sufficiency and determination on the one hand and mutual respect and generosity on the other.

James Otter / Surfboard Shaper

Barefoot wanderer and oracle craftsman James Otter spends most of his time carving wood and turning it into beautiful handmade surfboards. We joined in on a workshop day to watch James - clad in our Sampson Cords - lead the way. 

What drew you to working with wood in terms of making surfboards?

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved wood and had a connection to it, picking up sticks as a kid whilst walking the dog with mum and dad. I didn't really know why at the time, but wood as a material and as an object is just amazing to work with. I think everyone has it to a certain level, but I definitely had it quite strongly from a young age. Then as a teenager and I started just whittling things: walking sticks, skate ramps, anything; and wood was the natural material to go to, so that’s why I then went and studied in furniture making and went into the woodwork. So I came to making surfboards from already being a woodworker as opposed to thinking "I like shaping surfboards, what about if we made them from wood?". 

What does this particular space mean to you and the way that you run your business and the way that you work?

What does it mean… that’s a good one. Well, it’s close to the sea which is nice; close to home which means I can walk in with the dog, and it fits with what we do. All our heating is on a wood burner, the electricity is coming off a wind turbine and the building is made out of rammed earth, so it just fits with what we do. On a personal level, sustainability and reducing impact is one of my drivers; it is just engrained in what we do – so this space fits with that.

As a surfer yourself and someone who works with natural materials, does sustainability come into play in your craft?

Yes. When anyone makes anything, the materials that you’re using form part of a decision that you have to make. So for me, it wasn’t just that I wanted to use wood, it was wanting to use wood and knowing where is that wood was growing, who is managing the woodlands so it goes deeper than just picking up wood from a timber merchants.


Hannah Stocks / Yoga Instructor

If you visit the St Agnes workshop early on a Wednesday (and there’s no surf), you’ll find a handful of us practising a bit of pre-work yoga, thanks to Hannah’s weekly sessions. We spent an afternoon with Hannah - wearing our Fiske Joggers - taking some time to breathe during the working day. 

What drew you to turning a passion for yoga into a profession? 
I did my teachers training without any intention of teaching.  I just wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and be immersed in yoga.  It wasn’t until I started doing classes for friends and realised that I could facilitate the kind of space that people needed, that I wanted to teach.  I wanted to give back the feeling that I got from it.

As a surfer, what parallels do you draw between wave riding and yoga? 

I think we’re naturally drawn to things which go hand in hand and benefit each other.  Surfing brings mindfulness - it’s impossible to be thinking about anything other than riding the wave; and in yoga, we’re striving to quiet our minds, to stay present using the breath as a guide.  Keeping a relaxed breath, brings control to the mind and if you’re held under the water for a while, it's key.

What does living and working in Cornwall give to you? 

There’s something very magical about Cornwall; it’s vast with beautiful scenery and scope for adventure. Growing up in Bournemouth, holidaying with my family when I was younger & spending weekends surfing as I got older, I always knew I’d live here. It felt inevitable. 

Rob Morgan / Roma Surf

Whether he’s shooting on film in the surf or designing bespoke boards in his studio, Rob Morgan is a man fully trained in the ways of the water. Wearing the Coverack Chinos, he takes us through his morning routine in the workshop.

How would you describe what ROMA is?

Roma is a surf shop with surfboards at its core. Working with Diplock and Phoenix our range is small and compact, repeatable and scalable but most importantly a starting point with infinite possibilities.

When did you discover your love of the sea?

I started surfing regularly when I met a group of friends in the SW a little over 10 years ago - that's when I started exploring and luckily I still hang around with the same people and do the same things.

What is it that inspired you to take on this type of bespoke board service?

When you get to know a shaper you can recognise their work. There are elements of a board you see again and again, you trust it to be in your next board and you know you can experiment with a point of reference. As a shop it gives you the confidence to work with customers and give them a starting point.


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