Cornwall | Finisterre
From ethical surfwear to eco-friendly nappies, Tom Podkolinski channels his love for nature into everything he does.
When Salisbury-born Tom Podkolinski was eight years old, there was only one thing that gave him the right to stay up past bedtime: a David Attenborough documentary. His father, a doctor and explorer, and his mother, a nurse, would wake Podkolinski up to watch the epic narratives in the hope that he would be inspired by the stories of the natural world and grow up to think pragmatically about his environment. But they had no idea just how much impact these curfewbusting documentaries would have on their creative son. As co-founder of ethical surfwear company Finisterre, and with a plethora of projects underway that include an eco-nappy and an ornithological picture book, Tom Podkolinski is one motivated individual. He isn’t just using his design skills to build upon the Attenborough message – he’s creating one of his own.
“I remember there was a statistic at the end of one documentary,” says Podkolinski looking back. “It said, ‘An area the size of Wales is being chopped down in the Amazon rainforest every year’, and this was back in the 1980s. Wales was pretty much the biggest place ever to me… so I couldn’t comprehend the size of the Amazon – that just blew my mind. But it scared the shit out of me. I couldn’t understand the destruction of this thing that was so amazing.” His concern for the rainforest quickly turned into anger at the way it was being managed. “I think very young I got into constantly challenging the authority of things that just didn’t make sense to me,” says the 27-yearold entrepreneur. “The idea that my kids might grow up in a world where the sight of a tiger chasing down its prey in the wild doesn’t exist… It’s because these moments exist we feel inspired and create. It goes with that quest for knowledge,
Published on Jun 25, 2010