Designing and creating products for Finisterre is a new area for the brand. Whilst there will always be a need for hard goods, I firmly believe (most) things should be left to the experts. This is where a collaboration is most suitable for us. Whilst many brands out there collaborate simply for the kudos, it's my vision that we would only ever collaborate if we wanted a specialised product which we couldn't make ourselves. Something made by a like minded company.
If we can find the right manufacturer we will (and are beginning to) design our own product.
Remaining true to our original ethos is important and we have a lot to consider. A lot more than most ever would.
Where and who is making the product? What are their values? Where and how do they source the materials used? How much waste has been created? Energy consumption, footprint, labour, and many other questions which go alongside trying to run an ethical and sustainable company.
On top of that is the search for the most durable product. Something built to last can tick many of the 'eco' boxes.
The exciting thing with Finisterre is creating product specifically for Cold Water Surfers.
This is a relatively new market and we're finding there are a lot of products out there that just needed a little tweak or 2 to fit our needs. Whilst creating new product, ultimately we are telling the story of the Cold Water Surfer. We know a good majority of the guys across the world braving the harsh conditions for that perfect wave.
They tell us what they want and we listen. And our guys are taking 2 epic trips a year at the moment and are always in need of the right product.
At the moment the story is one of camaraderie amongst the team. They travel together and create their camp together. Rather than staying solo or in pairs in lightweight tents, heavy loads and canvas tents have been carried for miles and across several countries enabling the team to build their 'home from home'. And staying together feels like the right thing to do. Kitchen Tent + Living Quarters. That's not to say 'lightweight' won't become a big part of the range. It's just right now that isn't the requirement. I foresee some trips over to Alaska, Canada, and even Russia in the near future and expect these journeys to dictate the product we begin to put out there. Unless we're planning to spend hours on a cargo ship, there's probably going to be some plane journeys and a heavy canvas tent and stove are not going to work.
Lots of research goes into finding the right destinations and out come the maps and notebooks.
Compasses, pens, food, whisky, music, you name it. Immediate inspiration for product design.
You can see already how our new product is beginning to tell this story. Then there's the products needed for the journey, for living in the environment, for harsh conditions, for surfing, and for entertainment.
We're not saying everyone has to do it this way but this is our vision and one that has been synchronised with many surfers out there. I guess it's like a modern day expedition. The great outdoors meets a performance element.
Our focus will always be on the clothing. Pre and post surf wear. There are plans to create a new wetsuit offering yet much time is need to get this right.
I'm planning full head to toe gear which is a big move for us. Expect to see the majority of that for Winter 2014. Then over the space of this year we'll be launching the occasional hard product which is going to be exciting for all. I can't say too much but we've been working with a Sheffield company to produce a new tool. Then I'm currently in talks with several companies that specialise in making specific products which I'm hoping are going to be updated, adapted, and redesigned especially for us.
It's going to be a big year for Finisterre.