We think we’ve stumbled across a hidden gem. An ethical company making great clothing just down the road in Cornwall.
Gregor at Finisterre asked if we would review some synthetic baselayers. I was a bit dubious because I try to keep everything Bristol focussed, but when I realised they were in Cornwall, and how hard they work to produce ethically, with respect to materials, manufacturing, and transport, it was a bit of a no-brainer. If we in Bristol want to create a sustainable city, then buying kit from these guys might be the best alternative to running barefoot, in old t-shirts bought in charity shops.
Gregor sent me a women’s and a men’s Brisa top and I passed them on to Sharon and Dave to put to the test. They were very impressed. If you just want to cut to the chase, then visit the Finisterre website right now.
I’m a bit peed off I didn’t keep one for myself. The one thing I did notice straight away was that the fabric was really soft. I think it’s made from recycled plastic. Here are the comments that came back from Sharon and Dave:
My wife said it was really comfortable, with great wicking, and despite it being a really hot sweaty day out running it never clung to her at all. Would happily buy more of the same brand.
I absolutely love this top. It feels great on and seemed to make me run better, or perhaps that was because the sun was shining all weekend! I’ve worn it twice so far. An early run on Friday morning (a hilly 7k in the rain) and then a flat 13.5k run on Sunday. The top performed briliiantly. It felt light and comfortable and seemed to regulate my temperature really well. The top got pretty wet from the rain on Friday but despite this kept me warm and comfortable. In comparison on my longer run on Sunday, despite it being a much warmer day, the top kept me cool and comfortable in the cool breeze. I would highly recommend this top and encourage other runners to get out there and buy it. I’d perhaps prefer it in a brighter colour. I would be very interested in seeing some of their other products as I really like this top.
I guess it’s designed as a baselayer, but maybe some other colours and/or reflectives would be good.
I often find base layers are clingy and more often than not see through - not so good for us girls - so this top was refreshing in that it didn’t cling, wasn’t see-through and was incredibly comfy.
All of that sounds fantastic, and it fits with what Finisterre say about the top:
In terms of the Brisa, they’re incredibly quick wicking & fast drying, made from 100% Recycled Polyester and with an antibacterial finish to keep it oh so fresh. More info on the Brisa here.
I happen to know that they do have some more colours coming soon too. I think a local running shop could do worse than stock some of these tops.
Finisterre is an outdoor clothing company that specialises in fabric innovations. Their Merino base layers have gained an excellent reputation, serious recognition from the experts, Best on Tests etc. and they’re keen to take their expertise in Merino base layers to Synthetics (and break into the bigger running market!). They’ve won numerous awards largely based on their ethical sourcing of fabrics and work to revive the Bowmont Sheep, who’s wool rivals that of Merino. The first ever Bowmont products are coming this Autumn/Winter. It’s a tiny company of 8, doing what they love, working in a workshop on the cliff tops of St Agnes, surfboards everywhere and dogs scattered around.
So, if you are thinking of buying some new clothing, why not buy it from a local company working really hard to make great products, as close to home as possible, and who are providing great service.