Monthly Archives

September 2013

Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing What's Hot

Five ways to add sun protection with a scarf

I love scarves. They are the most versatile styling tool available (in my opinion), taking drab outfits from blah to voilà in a matter of seconds. Now that it’s fall, I try to incorporate a scarf into my look daily for both fashion and function. The Coolibar Aire Scarf is one of my favorite accessories as it does double-duty, providing some flair and UPF 50+ sun protection.

Here’s how I use my Coolibar Aire Scarf:

The Coolibar Aire Scarf saved my skin in the car, while practicing outdoor yoga, touring towns during travel, cruising on the boat and sitting on the outdoor patio.

 

Cover forehead and ears
Fold it in half the long way three times. Tie over once in back.

Cover the neck
Pull scarf tight at opposite ends. Place it in the middle back of the neck so you have equal amount of fabric on each side. Wrap it around the neck in opposite directions, slightly overlapping, until you have about 8 inches left on each side in front. Tie over once or twice (depending on your preference) and adjust so tie is off to the side.

Cover shoulders
Simply drape over the shoulders and tie once in front, looping one side of the excess fabric inside and over from the bottom.

Cover delicate chest area
Hang around neck, with equal amounts of fabric dangling in front on each side. Take one side and wrap it in a complete circle around the other until you create a loop. Pull the same side you used to create the loop, through the top of the loop. This will make a knot that will allow the fabric to drape nicely.

Cover legs fast
On vacation, or at the beach with bare legs? This scarf is even long enough to wear skirt style. Just wrap and tuck.

Enjoy!

-Amanda
Coolibar employee

Shop the Coolibar Aire Scarf.

Free shipping, no minimum on your next order at www.coolibar.com.
Offer expires September 30, 2013. Use code SEPT13. See website for promotion details.

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Events Inside Coolibar

Preventative Medicine and Sun Protection

Coolibar sun protection clothing is excited to attend the Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 30 – October 2, 2013. After manufacturing UPF clothing for over 12 years, we’re looking forward to introducing our line of Coolibar sun protective clothing to Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) for the first time!

Good health stems from good, preventative living – the premise of Osteopathic medicine.  DOs concentrate on treating a person as a whole versus specific symptoms, viewing everything in and outside the body (including skin) as interconnected.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, DOs are the fastest growing and most active segment of healthcare professionals in the US. As complete physicians of medicine, DOs specialize in all the major specialties, including family practice and dermatology. While DOs help treat symptoms, they also teach patients how to prevent illness and injury by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While there are currently over 52,000 DOs, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, it’s a relatively new practice being first introduced a little over 100 years ago.

Overall healthy living includes protecting skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and avoiding tanning beds. UV rays are the number one cause of premature skin aging and skin cancer according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Overexposure to sun may also suppress the immune system, aggravate preexisting conditions and produce side-effects for those taking prescription drugs. Currently, dermatologists recommend sun protective clothing  as the first line of defense against UV rays, followed by sunscreen.

Getting outdoors—where healthy living happens—is a must! That’s why we’re eager to introduce our line of fashionable, active UPF 50+ sunwear to DOs!

Attending OMED? Stop by booth #142 to meet the sun protection experts at Coolibar. We’ll have a special treat waiting for you!

Visit us at the Coolibar booth!
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Events Wellness Warriors

Lupus Walk for Hope

Every fall, the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota hosts a Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run in various cities throughout Minnesota as an opportunity to raise public awareness and show support for those with lupus. Chris Cronick, 2013 LFM ambassador, had the opportunity to attend the first of three walks this past Saturday in Minneapolis, MN. Chris shares her heartfelt appreciation for the support and education stemming from the first community event highlighting lupus.

We just wrapped up the 16th annual Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run/Walk here in the Twin Cities last weekend. Since its inception in 1998, the Lupus Walk for Hope has generated over a half a million dollars that has gone directly to fund lupus research. The event was a huge success with record breaking attendance of over 1,000 runners and walkers. Many smiling faces, lots of camaraderie, positive energy flowed, and everyone donned purple for lupus awareness. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who participated. I was amazed at the love and support I felt that day. It’s definitely an experience I will never forget.

It was an absolutely perfect day. Festivities started at 9 a.m. with crispness in the air that reminded me fall is definitely here. It was about 50 degrees with a cool breeze and the sun brightly shinning. As you may have read in my last post about having lupus, as much as I love a beautiful day, the sun isn’t necessarily my BFF. We have a love/hate relationship.

Since being diagnosed with lupus, I need to strategize my game-plan for each day when it comes to sun exposure. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks all sorts of organs in your body, including the largest organ, the skin. Aside from the sun causing a flare, approximately two-thirds of people with lupus will develop a type of skin disease called cutaneous lupus erythematous. Skin disease in lupus may cause rashes or sores (lesions), most of which will appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, neck, arms and legs. A high percentage of people find their disease is aggravated after being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight or artificial light.

Thankfully, we can take preventative measures to stay sun safe outdoors:

• Seek shade, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Wear sun-protective clothing and broad-brimmed hats
• Use plenty of broad-spectrum sunscreen, with at least SPF 30

The walk was held at French Regional Park in Plymouth, MN. Luckily, a well-shaded pavilion area was nestled right in the middle of the park. The walking trails were also covered with beautiful, large trees, so my husband Patrick and I both were able to stay out of the sun for a large portion of the day. When we were in the sun, we used sunscreen and wore our Coolibar clothes.

Patrick and Chris

I took the layered approach and wore the women’s Fitness Jacket over the Vera Resort T-Shirt. He wore the men’s Fitness Jacket with his LFM running t-shirt and the men’s Fitness Pants. My team also sported purple feather boas and butterfly bandanas, Cronick’s Chronic Crue signature accessories. The clothes were absolutely perfect for the weather and occasion — light-weight, protective and comfortable. These items are our favorites.

I’ll be wearing Coolibar again as we have two more walks to complete: one in Rochester, MN, September 28th as well as Duluth, MN, October 5th. I’d love to see you there.

Chris Cronick – LFM Ambassador

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Coolibar Athletes

Holistic Living and Vegan Eating for an Ultra Athlete

Living holistically is not easy. Coolibar Athlete Gene Meade, in one day, decided his poor eating habits were over. He traded his quarter-pounder with cheese for a black bean veggie patty with sprouts on top, unaware at the time that his decision would lead to a whole new way of thinking about healthy living. Gene shares his experiences along the path to holistic living.

I have been vegan for three years now. It basically started for me as a good way to eat cleaner and drop some weight, but a funny thing happened along the way.

I had been a vegetarian back in my younger days, mainly as a response to my mother’s horrific cooking, which was primarily based on bacon fat and Velveeta cheese. As the years went by, I gradually fell off the vegetarian wagon and once again became a full time carnivore. Building a career, raising children and living the good life, the pounds slowly crept on as the exercise stopped and the hearty eating went on. I was not back to bacon fat and Velveeta levels, but I was getting close.

After returning to running and cycling back in 2008, I began to feel better, but I knew I could not get to where I needed to be health wise without making some major changes in diet and lifestyle as well. So, in 2010, I quit drinking and became a vegan all in the same day. Nothing like subtle change!

I basically became vegan and more focused on diet and lifestyle for selfish reasons. I wanted to take care of ME. But as I navigated my way along my new path, I discovered that I was not only becoming more in tune with my body, but also more in tune with the world and life around me. It was not any one large change but numerous small changes I was making along the way. Reading food labels, shopping at the local farmer’s market, recycling a bit more. I was also reconnecting with nature through trail running.

I was also feeling better than I had felt in a long time! I had increased energy, less colds and felt stronger. I started running ultra marathons in 2011. I enjoyed the physical and mental demands of the sport, and was racing and training all on a plant based diet, which tended to surprise a lot of people!

Becoming vegan not only made me feel better, but also made me become a better person. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to know where my food was coming from, what was done to it along the way and what impact my choices made not just on me but on everything around me. It has also allowed me to meet and work with some great people and organizations, like my friends here at Coolibar. Being Sun aware is another way I stay in touch with the environment and my impact upon it.

Small changes can make a big difference, whether it’s eating healthier or finding an activity you love to stay in shape. Stay aware my friends!

Gene Meade
Ultra Runner and Coolibar Athlete

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger from the Ambitious Kitchen (Click photo for recipe)
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Wellness Warriors

An Ambassador for Lupus

Chris Cronick, the 2013 Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Ambassador, is a role model for us all. A fitness coach, spin instructor and motivational speaker, Chris has triumphed over some major health obstacles, and still maintains a positive attitude.

Hi, my name is Chris Cronick. I am sharing my story, raising awareness of lupus, and kicking-off this year’s Lupus Walk for Hope & 5K Saturday September 14th, at French Regional Park in Plymouth, MN.

I’m 38, and I have rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease, both of which are autoimmune diseases. I’m also the proud recipient of six artificial joints. Apparently I wasn’t quite finished adding on to my list of ailments because back in 2010, I suddenly became very sick and spent six months in and out of different hospitals. Many tests were done and finally, I was given a diagnosis of lupus.

Your body’s immune system is designed to protect you from disease and infection. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects many parts of a person’s body including: kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood and the largest organ of the body, the skin. Those of us with lupus MUST stay out of the sun or we risk a flare. A flare is a period of heightened disease activity which can range from mild to very severe, requiring hospitalization.

Case in point: Back in September of 2011, just one year after I was diagnosed with lupus, I learned my heart valves were damaged from a lupus related infection for which I would need open heart surgery. That is how crazy lupus can be. Fortunately, I was able to make a recovery that is nothing short of miraculous because now, I am a Motivational Speaker, Fitness Coach and Spin Instructor. You can learn more of my journey at: http://chrisinspires.com/.

Health and wellness are true passions for me and I do everything in my power to stay strong and healthy. I’m super excited to finally feel well enough to volunteer and raise awareness for this life altering disease which is what lead me to the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota. LFM has been a tremendous support to me in many ways and a partner in my journey. In fact, while there, I was first introduced to Coolibar and it’s literally been a life-saver. I had no idea a company like this existed.

Prior to lupus, I was on several medications for rheumatoid arthritis that made me highly photosensitive. If I were out in the sun, I could burn more quickly and more intensely. Now that I have lupus, not only am I still on those same photosensitive medications, I must avoid the sun altogether to avert flares. Yes, it’s a double whammy but staying out of the sun is one way I can manage this disease. With that said, it’s not always so easy.

I’m fairly young and active, even though my body sometimes makes me think otherwise. If I’m feeling good on a beautiful summer day, I’d rather not sit inside for fear of a flare–especially because I live in Minnesota and we only have a three-month long summer! I want to get out there and enjoy the weather. Contrary to those who think we have snow year round, it gets very hot and humid here and to be outdoors in a traditional hoodie or long-sleeve shirt can be miserable. I’ve had the hardest time finding light-weight, comfortable, and fashionable clothes for outside until I discovered Coolibar. To know Coolibar is blocking 98% or greater of both UVA and UVB rays, and the clothes are also cool, is a bonus.

Coolibar has fast become a staple in my wardrobe. The fit, the feel and the function – I can’t wait to share my favorites with you all! I will be sporting some at our upcoming Lupus Walk for Hope & 5K next weekend. If you’re in Minnesota, join us for the Lupus Walk for Hope in any of these three areas.

Twin Cities (September 14); Rochester (September 28); or Duluth (October 5)

More to come soon.

-Chris Cronick

Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.

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Inside Coolibar

Welcome Coolibar Design Director Olga Mashkova

Coolibar is pleased to introduce our new Design Director Olga Mashkova. Olga comes to Coolibar with almost a decade of experience in the fashion industry, designing everything from high fashion pieces to outdoor apparel. We look forward to introducing Olga’s UPF 50+ designs spring 2014. In the meantime, we wanted to find out more about her design inspiration and get a taste for what’s to come.

What inspired you to become a clothing and fashion designer?

OM: When I moved to the US I tried a lot of different careers trying to find what I wanted to do with my life. I came to a realization that I need to truly love my work. We spend so much of our lives working, and I knew I didn’t want to live weekend to weekend. Growing up in Russia all girls were taught how to sew and knit, and after receiving quite a few compliments on some outfits I created, I decided to pursue a Fashion Design career. I enrolled in school and loved it right away. The most inspiring thing about my job is that I love what I do every day. I have to be passionate about anything I do. Designing clothes, coming up with new ideas and creating things that make women happy and feel confident is truly exciting for me.

What helped prepare you for working in this industry?

OM: Great education. I graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and that was the best training I could have ever wished for.

Where do you get your design inspiration?

OM: All kinds of sources: fashion shows, magazines, vintage shopping, trend forecasting sites, paintings, art installations and mainly people watching. I always check out what women of all generations wear, it’s so fascinating to see how fashion changes, and even 3-4 years ago women wouldn’t wear certain clothes that they wear today. We could design whatever we want, but we need to think “Would she actually wear it? Would she find it flattering? What are her needs these days?” You have to stay tuned to the changes she’s going through in her life.

What are you most excited about now that you’ve started working at Coolibar?

OM: I’m most excited to be designing for such a great cause. Fashion can be vain and even cruel, and those are the sides of fashion I have struggled with. Since the beginning of my career I have always longed to combine my passions for design and doing something more meaningful. I am amazed by Coolibar’s concept of sun protective clothing, and I truly believe that we are helping people to live fuller lives. With our products they can enjoy being outdoors while also being safe from the sun. On top of that, we can make them feel fashionable and attractive. It’s the best of both worlds for me.

What trends do you see being big for 2014?

OM: For spring 2014 we are focusing on three major trends for ladies:
Underwater world: We’re seeing a lot of shades of blues and turquoise being used as key colors for spring—anything from light mint to periwinkle blues to deep cobalts—colors of the sea. A lot of prints are using watercolor washes, brush strokes that reflect movement of water, inks that bleed and fade, so the prints are very soft and feminine.

Black and white continues to be a big trend—very clean, bold lines that remind us of the 60’s designs. Geos are extremely important in this group.

Tribal and ikat patterns are gaining more importance: main shapes include diamonds and chevron patterns, ikats become intricate and highly decorative as well as very compact with hardly any ground color.

What are your hobbies outside of the office?

OM: My biggest passion outside work is animals. I am a huge supporter of animal rights and dedicate a lot of my time trying to save their innocent lives. Beyond that I love to run and do yoga. I am obsessed with healthy eating and always on the lookout for new recipes. Finally, I think travel is extremely important. My worldview and perspective on life has been shaped and enhanced with places and cultures I’ve explored around the world.

What is your favorite Coolibar innovation and why?

OM: The sun protective technology built into our fabrics, it literally saves lives.

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New Products What's Hot

One Item, Five Fashionable Ways: Coolibar Cardigan

Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed wardrobes for hundreds of clients. She is president of the Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book “Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want”. Bridgette is also Coolibar’s go-to stylist. Each week, she features one closet staple on her style blog and pairs it with five different outfits for her segment: One Item, Five Fashionable Ways. In honor of New York Fashion Week, we asked Bridgette to use her expert eye and style the Coolibar Vera Coastal Wrap.

For this week’s One Item, Five Fashionable Ways, sun protection clothing company Coolibar asked me if I was interested in featuring one of their pieces for this post. The choice was mine as to which item I would showcase and I instantly picked their Vera Coastal Wrap. I own this cardigan and love it because it is not just easy and figure flattering, but it is soft, SO soft, in their modal/spandex SUNTECT® fabric. I’m not kidding when I say it may be the softest, most comfortable fabric I have ever had on my body.

Cardigans are no-brainer pieces that every wardrobe should have as functional outfit finishers. On a cool night they give you warmth. Feel shy showing your arms, they offer shy arms security and for a professional-work environment, they replace a jacket.

To get the most out of a cardigan, I like to make sure I have an ample supply of neutral colored ones which is why I chose to style the Vera Wrap Cardigan in Coolibar’s taupe shade– a versatile layering piece in a versatile color. Check out the five ways I style this cardigan for some outfit inspiration and tips on how to incorporate a cardigan into your wardrobe

Five Coolibar Cardigan Outfits

Look #1

When an outfit is based entirely in neutrals, like this cardigan look with khaki pants by Vince Camuto and a boat neck top by Modcloth, you have free range to bring in pops in any colors you like. Because it’s so trendy and popular at the moment, and because these colors go so well with taupe, I decided to go with pink and tangerine and chose these two-tone Sperry ballerinas and necklace by Stella & Dot. To complete the look, and for some sunny brightness, I chose an orange Fossil handbag and flowery studs also from Stella & Dot.

Look #2

If you’re are going to buy and wear colored casual pants this fall, investing in a neutral colored cardigan is a great idea as it will work with all of the colored bottoms you purchase. Here I chose to pair Coolibar’s cardigan with an eggplant pair of Boden skinny pants and layered an Anthropologie printed tank underneath. The look is finished with a versatile pair of grey rhinestone ballerinas by Sperry, a purple pair of statement earrings by Blu Bijoux and, for a third punch of color, a grey and yellow handbag from R+J Handbags to make the whole look casually colorblocked for fall.

Look #3

To bring your summer tanks into fall, a cardigan is a great choice. Plus, remember, all Coolibar clothing offers 50+ UVA and UVB sun protection. With their Vera Coastal Wrap you can give yourself some coverage while still wearing a flimsier top, like this one by Zara. Once Labor Day arrives, don’t assume that you don’t need sun protection. The sun is still shining and you should still be thinking about shielding yourself from the rays of the sun when necessary.

This cardigan works well with a pair of jeans, like this boyfriend style by Levi’s. Pop the look with a bright shoe, like coral wedges by Seychelles, to pull in the colors of the print, along with Furla’s navy handbag and Privileged Gold coral earrings.

Look #4

A cardigan is a great way to bring a summer dress into fall or to layer some warmth at the office. This flattering print dress by Eliza J. has tones of the taupe right in the print, along with coral. Wanting to maximize all the items used in this post, I chose the same coral wedges and earrings from the previous look. The last component is an off white handbag by Melie Bianco.

Look #5

This cardigan is easy with a pair of camel pants, like these cotton trousers from Ann Taylor. I layered Modcloth’s pink top underneath and used the handbag and shoes from previous looks in this outfit as well. The outfit is finished with a Trina Turk disc necklace, Michael Kors studs and Cole Haan skinny metallic belt.

Learn more about the Bridgette Raes Style Group

Bridgette is hosting a shopping party to benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation, and you’re invited. Learn more.

Shop the Coolibar UPF 50+ Vera Coastal Wrap.

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School sun safety SunAWARE

A Lesson in Back-to-School Sun Protection

While the teacher doesn’t typically require sun protection, it’s a back-to-school item parents should strongly consider. Not all schools allow hats or sunscreen, and we hope schools change their policies in the near future. All the same, we have suggestions to ensure your child is sun safe.

1. Before leaving the house, help your child apply broad-spectrum sunscreen. Then teach them how to properly reapply sunscreen before recess. A parent or doctor note may be necessary for your child to do this depending on your school’s policy. If required, discuss sunscreen use with your child’s teacher directly. When choosing a sunscreen, look for active ingredients that block both UVA and UVB rays, such and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and a rating of SPF 30+. Sunscreen should be used every day – including cloudy days.

2. Instruct your child to play in shaded areas during recess if possible, especially days the UV index is high. Ultraviolet radiation is most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when recess is in session. Approximately 50 percent of the daily UV exposure is received during the four hours around noon.

3. Dress your child in sun protective clothing when possible. UPF 50+ clothing provides excellent sun protection that doesn’t wash or wear off. Wearing tightly woven loose fitting clothing can also shade skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

4. If your school allows, send your child to school with a wide-brimmed hat or legionnaire hat that covers neck and ears. A hat with at least a 3-inch brim all the way around is best. Baseball caps do not protect the back of the neck or the ears. If you wish all students could wear hats during recess, check out our Coolibar School Sun Hat Program. We provide half off children’s hats for schools!

5. Have your child wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV rays or that are rated UV 400. Wearing UV sunglasses protects eyes from cataracts, retinal damage, macular degeneration and eyelid cancer.

Learn more about Coolibar’s school programs and special discounts.

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Wellness Warriors

24 Marathons in 24 Days to End Childhood Cancer

After a medical miracle in his own family, Brian Gruender wanted to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. Brian is a father of four and president of the Snowdrop Foundation, which provides scholarships to college bound pediatric cancer patients, while also raising awareness and funds for the continued research efforts to find a cure to childhood cancer. Despite his busy schedule, Brian was determined to do something for the children. So this summer, Brian completed 24 marathons in 24 consecutive days.

“The number 24 is symbolic because it’s the number of cancer beds at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital and the number of hours we have each day to complete our runs,” said Gruender. This event brought national attention to pediatric cancer.

Brian Gruender holding the American Flag as he heads for the finish line of his last 24-4-24 marathon.

When Coolibar heard about Brian’s mission and the extensive training involved, we decided to help him with sun protection. “I used the short sleeve shirt during my 24 marathons in 24 days event, which included several 90 degree days,” said Gruender.  “It kept me protected from the sun’s harmful rays and gave me peace of mind, allowing me to concentrate purely on running.”

This October, Brian hopes to complete another feat. He, along with three others, will be running 165 miles over four days to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation. Each day they will run to honor a child battling cancer in their home state, Wisconsin. On the fourth day, the runners will arrive at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital to kick off Courage Over Cancer (Fund-urance Run), a 5K run open to the public.

We wish Brian and his team the best of luck this fall! To learn more about the Snowdrop Foundation, visit http://snowdropfoundation.org

To learn more about Coolibar Sun Protection You Wear, visit http://www.coolibar.com

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