When it comes to sun protection clothing what is considered good value? Truly, best value is a relative term based on what's important to you. Perhaps you'd consider cost, how long the garment lasts, or how durable the sun protection factor.
In our case it boils down to these attributes: aesthetics, durability, health and comfort, and the environment.
If you'd asked me several years ago about our priorities, this list likely would've been different. But I'm an eager student and find the topic of fabric and garment construction fascinating.
I learned that basically, not all sun protection fabrics are equal. Like chemical and physical sunscreens, some fabrics use chemical finishes that wear off and may be harmful, while others have sun protection qualities inherent to the fabric itself.
Many garments on the market today with sun protection ratings are made with fabrics that have a sunscreen additive applied topically to it. Typically these garments have a lower price point. While initially you'll pay less for the item, the sun protection finish on these garments will break down or wash out so over time they'll block less UV from your skin. You'll need to replace these garments frequently in order to stay sun protected.
Obviously this isn't cost efficient over time unless you're purchasing for growing children - but even then you've got to consider if it's safe to have that fabric against your family's skin as well as consider the environmental impact since you couldn't really downstream these garments to other kids as effective sun protection.
Honestly, one of the longest delays I've had in bringing my designs to market was researching the best fabric.
A few months back I met with two of our materials suppliers from Italy and made fresh connections with many other suppliers creating innovative materials for the sun protection industry. These suppliers specialize in fabrics with inherent sun protection properties.
I’m also impressed with the commitment the companies we're partnering with have made to innovate textiles in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner. They have invested in practices which utilize less water, or use recycled water, use solar or wind power and create less waste in their manufacturing process by using fewer chemicals and producing fewer emissions. Many are experimenting with recycled materials whenever possible.
After learning these fabric differences, we decided to make our Sun Gauntlet Collection solely with fabrics that have permanent UV sun protection qualities inherent to the fabric. This means the sun protection technology is in the thread itself and the manner with which the fabric is woven (a tight weave, they call it), thus the functional rating of UPF 50+ is permanent and inherent to the fabric. YES!
Furthermore, our UV Sun Gauntlet Collection line will be made -
Entirely of materials that are OEKO-Tek Standard 100 compliant. Meaning, the materials used to make your Sun Gauntlets have been independently tested for harmful substances and are tested and rated safe in human ecological terms to be worn against your skin for long periods of time.
Construction will be seamless! You'll see a fabric 'tape' on the inside instead of a sewn seam. Which means for those of us with sensitive skin on a hot day or on any given day you won't develop chafing from the threaded seams.
Fabric tested and certified permanently UPF 50+ for the lifetime of your Sun Gauntlets.
Aesthetics, durability, health and comfort, and environmentally conscious.
Ah yes, aesthetics. Saved this one for last even though it is indeed first on the list. And that is because honestly, sun protection clothing does us no good if we are loathe to wear it, am I right? And best practice is to wear it every day, any day, not just when you're on vacation or going to the beach. Every day, every outfit. So it was imperative to find a fabric source that makes this quality fabric in a variety of colors to complement your everyday wardrobe. Cause it's easier to keep a sun safe habit when it's cute to wear.
Wearing UPF sun protection clothing is preventative care, and it’s a smart investment - something we find invaluable!
Our bold UPF50+ #UVsunGauntlet Collection is coming your way in solids, prints, subdued and fun colors, making it easier to stay stylish and sun safe everyday.