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Tempered Through Travel | Mat Arney

Designed to stand the test of time and be repaired when needed, our Jackets have accompanied many an adventure - writing stories together with their owners. 
A photographer and storyteller who's travelled far and wide, Mat Arney has had his Etobicoke for years. Below he talks us through some of the memories they've shared, marked by the repairs his faithful jacket has needed along the way. 


Mat Arney's Etobicoke jacket hangs in the studio

Matt Arney's repaired Etobicoke jacket by Finisterre

Left Pocket (Inside)

In spring of 2011, when this jacket was a year old, a friend and I travelled by train to Morocco with surfboards. It turned into a bit of a mission, but before the wheels came off the wagon properly at the Spanish border, I split the inside seam of the left pocket in Paris. We’d got off the Eurostar at the Gare du Nord, and were racing across the city to Paris Montparnasse to catch the TGV to Biarritz. We stopped to buy lunch, and discovered that my Etobicoke’s deep pockets were just the right size to fit a bottle of red wine in on one side, and a demi-baguette sandwich in the other. Running for the train about twenty minutes later, the weight of the wine bottle bouncing in my pocket bust the stitching. For the rest of the trip, every time I put something in my left pocket I lost it to the interior lining of the coat.


Right Armpit (Rear)

I can’t recall how I got this tear, but I can remember the repair. It was 2014, I think March or April, and the sort of day at one of the local beaches that absolutely lights up when a specific set of conditions come together – a smallish long period swell with light offshores and not a cloud in the cold sky. The car park had been good as full before the sun rose, full of familiar cars and faces. After surfing and before heading off to work, I was stood in the car park (which was still in the shadows of the steep valley) catching up with some friends. Tom [Kay, Finisterre’s founder] got out and we all said hellos and commented on the quality of the surf, then a few minutes later having got changed he came over and pulled my coat off my back, saying that he couldn’t have me walking around with a tear like that in my coat and giving me instructions to come up to Wheal Kitty in a few days time to collect it. I was absolutely freezing by the time I got to work.


Mat Arney wearing his faithful Finisterre Etobicoke jacket at J Bay in South Africa

Right Elbow (Not Yet Repaired – That’s Duct Tape!)

This autumn a friend and I went halves on a little sailing dinghy. We both live equidistant between the North and South coasts, about 15 minutes from each. There are days in the summer when the North Coast surfing beaches get really busy, whether the waves are good or not, and over the last couple of years the appeal of messing about in a little sail boat on the south coast on those days has grown. We picked up our bargain boat right at the end of the sailing season, and cleared a spot in a friend’s barn to store it in over the winter. But, being a farmer’s barn, it was full of stuff and as we were manoeuvring the boat trailer into place I snagged the elbow of my jacket on a roll of barbed wire.

Left Elbow

This hole is less exciting. My studio space is a converted industrial unit, and for all of its warehouse chic it used to get pretty cold in winter, especially the year before I had a wood-burning stove installed. That first winter I wore this jacket every day, and I still sometimes wear it for the first hour of the day before the fire’s got going and warmed the place up. My desk is standing height, so when I’m working at my computer I tend to rest my left elbow on the table and over time I wore a hole in it.

Mat Arney wearing his Finisterre Etobicoke jacket at a French train station

Hem/Drawstring (Total Replacement And Reinforcement)

Brambles, briars and barbed wire abound on the coast of North Cornwall, where I used to live and surf. I pushed past enough during missions to surf at out of the way waves that the hem of my Etobicoke picked up enough snags to need rebuilding completely. 

Right Shoulder (Top - to be repaired)

I carry my camera bag over my right shoulder, and it’s slowly worn the seam thin exposing some insulation right on top of the shoulder. I’ll be asking for a patch on this when I get the right elbow repaired in due course…

 Mat Arney shot of Nazare in full beast mode

Right Cuff

When I first bought this jacket I was sharing a house by the beach with three friends. We lived there for about five years in all. Two of them (a couple) got a dog – a springador puppy - and at some point in the first six months of having a puppy in the house his sharp little teeth missed the rope toy I was waving in front of him and put a load of tears in the cuff of my jacket.

Left Cuff

These holes were a total mystery...


If you need a Finisterre product repaired, head on over to our Lived & Loved pages to book yours. 


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Words & Images by Mat Arney
Header Image by Abbi Hughes

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