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Behind The Design

Behind The Design Sun Smarts

UV Rays in the Fall Can Be as Damaging as in the Summer

Leaves turn colors, temperatures start to cool, the sun’s heat wanes, and instinctively we drop our guard and “forget” sunscreen, leave our hats at home and waltz out into the day’s rays utterly unprotected. Is it really necessary to stay vigilant with UV protection? Are we truly risking the sun’s wrath if we sit beachside with our book or enjoy our morning cup of coffee on the terrace? Or is this UV stuff all hype?

The answer is simple and surprising. Yes, it’s necessary to stay vigilant even though it feels cooler outside. Science is very clear that the harshest of rays, UVB (“B” helps you remember for Burning) change in intensity based on the season and the position of the sun. But, UVA rays (emphasis on “A” for “Aging”) remain strong in full force with fearless intensity year-round, regardless of season or the sun’s position. These rays will undermine mind all your protective measures unless you stay on it. In short, UVA rays are incredibly powerful rays that never go away, constantly and cumulatively wreaking havoc with skin health, contributing to skin cancer, vision loss and reducing our immunities. While it may seem excessive to wear UPF 50+ clothing covering arms, faces, and heads in these cool fall days, a simple neighborhood walk, a casual bike ride, a lunch al fresco or a play day at the park adds up to long-term irreversible cellular damage. So, yes, keeping your guard up and staying protected is a year-round gig.

Omnipresent and relentless in their reach, the relatively long-wavelength UVA accounts for approximately 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface and thus our skin. Although UVA is generally far less carcinogenic than UVB radiation, it’s present more abundantly in sunlight than UVB radiation and contributes appreciably to the carcinogenicity of sunlight. UVA penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin where connective tissue and blood vessels are affected. As a result, the skin gradually loses its elasticity and starts to wrinkle. Furthermore, recent studies strongly suggest that it may enhance the development of skin cancers. The mechanisms of this UVA damage are not fully understood, but a popular hypothesis assumes that UVA increases oxidative stress in the cell.

Think of UVA as a sneaky, ill-intentioned ninja, stalking their prey (your skin) and never letting up. They penetrate your car windows, but you don’t see them; they’re invisible. They damage skin, but don’t feel them because they don’t burn. But, within a number of years, you start to see the effects of UVA’s work. Freckles pop up on your chest, wrinkles and brown spots appear, jowls and neck skin droops, collagen and elasticity diminishes. Even more serious concerns occur, like vision issues, eye cataracts, and macular degeneration. Or, most serious of all, cancer happens. While UVA isn’t the primary source of cancer, it is a known contributor. And, the simple and unprotected daily commutes and errands in the car, shuttles of kids to soccer or long walks on a warm fall day accumulate and become irreversible UVA damage.

For nearly 20 years, our focus on protection with UPF 50+ clothing was laser-pointed at people who’ve encountered a real medical concern, like cancer, sun allergies, Lupus, chemo treatment, prescription medications that create sun sensitivity. So our broad-spectrum UV fabrics have been specially developed to authentically protect those in need and attack UVB because of its evil results while also pushing back on UVA rays. With stylish, intelligent clothes that block UVA/UVB, a Coolibar tee-shirt looks and feels like any tee-shirt, and with incredible intent. You’d have no idea our tee was a hard-working UV blocking shirt; it’s as soft as a cotton tee and feels wonderful. This strategy has been essential to many customers, because nearly 70% buy Coolibar because of a medical issue, and they want to avoid visibly publicizing their health situation. So our design philosophy has been to develop highly technical fabrics in elegant, comfortable clothes and swimwear that look great. Candidly, we’ve never talked much about UVA. We’ve always blocked UVA, but we’ve never really emphasized these rays, until now. Today, with a company mission that emphasizes keeping people safe from UV damage, we need to be more assertive about prevention as much as we’ve designed for protection. We want to start younger, get people paying attention to skin health. This commitment is our version of “an apple a day.” What’s our answer to powerful UVA rays this fall? How can you start your prevention regime?

We’ve developed a proprietary year-round fabric derived from the Merino sheep in New Zealand. It’s a fantastic blend, machine washable and super comfortable, and we’re not just saying that because we developed it. The Coolibar Merino Wool is an ultra lightweight, comfy, super breathable UPF 50+ fabric that insulates on chillier days and cools on warmer days, and, equally important, it tells UVA rays to bounce off (putting it politely). It’s light enough for men who fear sweater weather; it travels; it’s a light weight fabric that’s a heavyweight UV fighter. Tested and endorsed by dermatologists and holds The Skin Cancer Foundation seal of recommendation, our Coolibar Merino Wool blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays and does it in a collection of fall wraps, pullovers, sporty polos, long cardigan-style sweaters, scarves, designed to cover arms, necks, hands and look perfect for the season. Being based in Minnesota, we revel in all outdoor seasons. Our entire company actively participates in outdoors year-round activities. We wear test our products for technical performance, styling, wear-ability, fit, comfort and durability. If we were pushy and not Minnesota nice, we’d highly suggest you wear a quality, high-end sunscreen, always protect your eyes with the best sunglasses you can buy (please avoid the glasses from the dime store; their lens effectiveness degrades) and wear UPF 50+ clothing that makes hiding from UV rays look and feel good. Look for the Merino Collection September 18, 2017 on coolibar.com and Amazon.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index2.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10907526

 

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Behind The Design

What should I look for in a sunglass lens?

Just before you dash out the door, you reach into your drawer of sunglasses and grab a pair. Great job! At least you’re onto positive, proactive and protective behavior. But, do you really know anything about the lenses in that pair of eyewear? And why good lenses matter for long term UV eye protection and eye health? We’re all about protection at Coolibar, and eye protection is no different. Like skin, eyes can sunburn and sustain damage, eye cancers and more. In fact, eyelid skin is extremely thin and susceptible to melanomas, so protecting your eyes is as essential as protecting your faces, necks, arms, and legs. And did you know that lens effectiveness can diminish in time? A study was released that proved, like food in our refrigerator or medications, the protective ability of some sunglass lenses can degrade in time and negatively impact eye protection.

UV rays, those wavelengths invisible to the eye are the most dangerous part of sunlight. They can cause cataracts, eyelid cancers, and other skin cancers and are believed to play a part in macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss for people over age 60. In addition, UV rays can prematurely wrinkle and age the skin around the eyes. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends shade, diligent sunscreen application, sun protective clothing, and wide-brimmed hats. They also don’t want you to forget about the shades too. That said, we know sunglasses are super high tech and can be confusing; it almost requires an engineering degree to sort them out. With different colors, materials and different coatings, where do you start?

We can help. Our premium eyewear selection has been made for maximum UV protection. Blocking 100% of UV rays, offering perks like polarized lenses to kill glare and reduce eyestrain or bifocal lenses for reading outdoors. No matter your need or activity level, we have the perfect pair for you. While some sunglasses have coatings that wear away that UV ray protection quickly, we’ve handpicked our selection here at Coolibar so you can remain safe in the sun. Each of our sunglasses has high-quality lenses and come in a variety of lens materials.

Here is a quick guide to different lens materials, features, and tints to simplify the decision-making process.

Lens Materials

Years ago, glass was the only option available for lenses, but today a wide range of lens materials are available to match all lifestyles.

Glass
Highly regarded for its optical quality and scratch resistance, an optical quality glass is made from exceptionally pure sand.

Polycarbonate
For everyday wear and activities, polycarbonate, a thermoplastic, offers a lightweight feel and is unrivaled for impact resistance.

Other Materials
Many sunglass brands create their own lens materials, generally found in their product descriptions. Bearn in mind a fancy name for a new material doesn’t necessarily equate to a quality lens. Look at customer reviews for good information on how the lens performs.

Lens Features

When it comes to lenses, there are dozens of features help a lens perform better in specific light and weather conditions. Here are a few of the more prevalent options.

Polarized lenses
There’s a special filter inside a polarized lens that blocks horizontal light waves, in human speak, that means glare, while, at the same time allowing vertical light waves (good light) to pass through. That means, polarized sunglasses greatly reduce the blinding effects of glare and enhance colors.

Photochromic
Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to changing light conditions. Both tint and light transmission respond, so when the sun pulls a disappearing act or it knifes through clouds, the sunglasses lenses adapt to bright or darker conditions. Interestingly, photochromic lenses change color when the lenses are exposed to ultraviolet radiation, then, when the lens is removed from direct exposure to UV rays, the lenses go back to their original tint. Worth noting that, while great for sports applications, photochromic lenses aren’t ideal for driving conditions because most cars have UV filters in the windshield that prevent the lenses from activating (changing color).

Hydrophobic, Oleophobic & Hydroleophic lens treatments
Hydrophobic lens treatments prevent moisture buildup so rain and perspiration won’t leave streaks and sheens that compromise your vision. Water droplets ball up and bead off the surface. Oleophobic lens treatments repel oils, making it easier to keep lenses clean. Skin oils, fingerprints, and lotions are wiped away so no residue blurs vision. Hydroleophobic lens treatments take the best of both worlds from Hydrophobic and Oleophobic and combine them into one special lens treatment!

Anti-reflective (A/R) treatment
Applied to the backside of some lenses, often polarized lenses, A/R treatments reduce an irritating ‘ghosting’ effect that can occur when light reflects off the inner area of the eye. Commonly found on polarized lenses, this treatment further reduces glare effects. The treatment generally makes the lens 2% darker and can be identified as a bluish tint located on the inside of the lens.

Mirrored treatments
Created by superheated metal oxides applied to the lens surface, this treatment reflects light and further reduces glare. Mirrored treatments tune the light transmission of lenses for specific sports applications or environments as well as for aesthetics.  We love the style that some of these treatments give the lenses and we think you will too.

Lens Tints
Lens colors or tints are designed to manage light conditions based on your use. While you may gravitate toward one color lens or another, some lens colors boost clarity, distance vision perception and visibility based on how much light or cloud cover exists. That said, choose what makes you happy; sunglasses are often a very personal decision. But if you’re into specific sports like golf, fishing or skiing, you may want to consider a specific color that helps up your game.

 

Blue Sunglasses Tint

  • Good for open water, beach and tennis
  • Reduces glare from harsh sun and white light
  • Natural color contrast, soothing
  • All purpose neutral lens color for everyday

Green/Gray Green Sunglasses Tint

  • All purpose neutral lens color for everyday
  • Reduces glare and eye strain in bright light
  • Colors appear more natural
  • Green tint during WWII helped pilots perceive correct colors

 

Gray Smoke Sunglasses Tint

  • Good for outdoor sports, running, cycling, golf, on the water
  • Blocks light with minimal color distortion
  • Protects against glare
  • All purpose, good choice for daily wear and driving

 

Amber/Orange Sunglasses Tint

  • Great for tennis, golf, skiing, sports, fishing, shallow underwater
  • Filters out blue light on overcast days
  • Improves contrast and depth perception
  • Everyday activities

 

Brown (Bronze or Gold) Sunglasses Tint

  • Great for tennis, golf or skiing, any activity
  • Filters out blue light on overcast days
  • Improves depth perception/distance
  • All purpose, universally appealing to the eye

 

Yellow Sunglasses Tint

  • Best for snow sports, hunting, and indoor ball sports
  • Allows maximum light in hazy, foggy, low light
  • Objects appear sharper indoors and outdoors
  • Good for sunrise, sunset, even night driving

 

Rose (Pink) Sunglasses Tint

  • Good for a variety of sports
  • Enhances depth perception
  • Soothing to the eye
  • Enhances colors in low to medium light

 

We hope our sunglasses guide on materials, treatments and lens colors proves helpful as you start shopping for your next pair of sunglasses.

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Behind The Design

Ultimate Coverage

Look for the Coolibar Shield for up to 90% skin coverage.

When you need advanced, all over UPF 50+ skin coverage, look for styles flagged with the Coolibar shield. This level of skin coverage is recommended by dermatologists to protect those with sun sensitivities, medical conditions, severe health considerations and young children with tender, delicate skin. Remember that anywhere that is covered by Coolibar fabric you’ll block 98% of UVA and UVB rays because all our clothing and hats are rated UPF 50+, giving you the highest sun protection rating possible, that is guaranteed for the life of the garment.  Complete outfitting with Ultimate Protection styles covers up to 90% of skin, extending full-length skin coverage for arms, hands, faces, necks and legs. We wanted to make it easy for you to find the items that have the most coverage to keep your skin protected from UVA and UVB rays. All our clothing is UPF 50+ but the items with the Coolibar Shield will help you find the items that cover the most skin possible.

Head and Ears

Ultimate skin coverage starts at the top with a hat that’s a 3” brim (minimum) to shade neck and ears. One of the most common places for skin cancer is on the human scalp. It’s also one of the least diagnosed. Under hair, there can be spots or tumors that can be cancerous. Start your family young. The inconvenience of wearing a hat is small in comparison to the benefits of protecting one’s self. This includes wearing a cap when swimming. We recommend covering your head and ears because according to the Science Daily, the most lethal melanomas are found on the scalp and the neck and people who have melanomas in those places “die at nearly twice the rate of people with melanoma elsewhere on the body, including the face or ears.”

Torso and Arms

After scalp and ear coverage, a long sleeve shirt that covers shoulders and extends over forearms and hand tops (when possible) provides strong upper chest and arm coverage. Look for thumbholes, longer cuffed sleeves, zippers that go to the top of the shirt collar, mock turtleneck or mandarin style collars where possible. You’ll want to keep your chest and arms covered to get maximum UPF 50+ sun protection. According to the Mayo Clinic, Forearms are one of the most common places for basal and squamous cell skin cancer. Additionally, these cancers frequently appear the head, neck, and hands.

Neck

The back of the neck is one of the most neglected skin areas. Hats with drapes provide shade and gaiters are a core part of ultimate coverage. Gaiters not only cover necks completely; they provide the added benefit of keeping you cooler on higher temperature days. Gaiters come in various sizes to accommodate men and women and have extra fabric to extend upward to cover the lower face, chin, and jawlines. According to WebMD, Shortcuts ponytails and casual messy bun hairstyles expose delicate neck skin to UV rays. Men with shorter hair experience cancer on the back of their necks and ears due to years of sun exposure.

Legs

Backs of the legs, behind the knees and calves, are often overlooked for coverage. Out of sight, out of mind. Sunscreens are not easily applied, applied too thinly or infrequently reapplied. Thus, full-length UPF 50+ pants are the only solution to ongoing coverage. Look for pants that come to your ankles, then wear socks or boots to cover skin on tops of feet. The calf and ankle are often overlooked in sunscreen application, wearing pants that cover the sensitive skin are an easy way to keep yourself protected.

“Skin cancer frequently appears on the lower legs and ankles of women, and ankles are difficult to treat surgically without intrusive post-op activity limitations or surgical disfigurement.  The skin here is thin, especially with advanced photodamage, and it does not stretch for surgical closure.”

-Advanced Skin Care Dermatology, Dr. Cynthia Bailey

Hands

Hands are vulnerable to cumulative damage, sun sensitivities and cancer spots. UVA rays can penetrate car windows and contribute to basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Complete Ultimate Skin Coverage with gloves that protect hands from the continued onslaught of UVA/UVB rays. Adding a pair of sun safe gloves can help you reduce the amount of UVA and UVB rays that hit the sensitive skin on the tops of your hands and are easy to put on. There are even styles with a touch screen pad to be able to use all your favorite devices with ease.

“I often see the same amount of sun damage on the back of the hands that I see on the face. These are high-risk places for precancerous lesions and skin thinning and they need sun protection.” – Dr. Cynthia Bailey

 

We hope this helps you choose the products that are best for you and keep you sun safe. When you need advanced, all over UPF 50+ skin coverage, look for styles flagged with the Coolibar shield.

 

 

 

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Behind The Design

5 New Items from Spring That You’ll Love

Our new spring collection is here and we couldn’t be more excited to tell you about some of our favorite items.

Lace-Up Rash Guard:

With a detailed lace-up neckline and a slightly fitted design, it might be easy to forget the sun protective benefits this Long Sleeve Swimshirt has to offer. Made from our quick-drying, lightweight, UPF 50+ Aqua Suntect fabric, which is salt water and chlorine resistant, this rash guard mixes guaranteed UPF 50+ sun protective features like thumbholes for the delicate skin on your hands, with sophisticated style for an easy transition from recreational swim to lunch at the bistro. Offering the UV protection you depend on, this sporty rash guard is a versatile swimwear staple you will want to add to your rotation.

Shoulder Lace-Up Dress:

Made of buttery soft material, our Shoulder Lace-Up Dress is a fresh take on one of your favorite styles. With an asymmetrical crew neckline and prominent lace up detail, you will look sharp for any occasion but remain cool enough for the hottest summer day. Perfect as a poolside bathing suit cover up but worthy of a garden party, this smartly casual lace up dress is sun protection that is just what the doctor ordered.

Ruche Cowl Neck:

Sure to become your favorite sun protection piece, you will love this Ruche Cowl Neck for the perfect blend of UV coverage and overall attractiveness. Keep the sun off your back (and neck) in style with the asymmetrical rushing that ties at your right hem and a cowl that becomes a cool loose hood to shield your face in an instant. This sporty cowl neck pullover is easily worn for comfortably soft everyday attire, but designed with non-restrictive French terry fabric and thumbholes for an impromptu bike ride!

Chambray Tunic Top:

Easy to dress up or down, our versatile and flattering the Chambray Tunic Top is a classic piece with our sun protective twist. Smartly tailored with a button placket at the neck, roll-up sleeves with button tabs, and chest pockets with a secure button flap, our women’s chambray shirt provide relaxing comfort with stylish elegance. Perfect for every day and made for travel, this lightweight shirt is velvety soft, forgiving and best of all, machine washable.With UPF sun protective coverage woven right into the fibers, you’ll delight in the effortless sunscreen benefit while you enjoy the outdoors worry-free. Comfortable and lightweight to keep you cool, this easy to style Tencel denim top is soft-washed for a vintage work shirt look and easily layered.

Asymmetrical Brim Hat:

Lean back in your lounge chair with ease and relax in the shade of sun coverage with our Asymmetrical Brim Hat designed for coverage, without compromising your comfort, the graduated brim of these sun shade hats provides a larger brim of full shade coverage in the front, with a smaller brim in back, making it ideal to sit in a beach chair effortlessly. The satin ribbon accent bow at the crown is a subtle nod to classic elegance which lends itself well to the versatility of your style. You’ll be able to read all day while relaxing in your favorite beach chair.

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Behind The Design

Resort 2016: Inspired by Morocco

Wonder often. Wander Always.

This season, we’ve wandered to hot places where sun protection is essential and arrived at our inspiration in Morocco, a coastal country rich in intricate hand-painted tiles, vibrant markets, and brilliant coastal waters. The country’s Mediterranean climate is similar to that of southern California, with lush forests in the northern and central mountain ranges of the country, giving way to drier conditions and inland deserts further south-east. We took inspiration from all parts of the country from the palms of Casablanca to the brilliant blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Sun protection is key when going on an adventure to a far away place. When you wear Coolibar, you know you are protected with UPF 50+ protection that blocks 98% of both UVA and UVB rays. This will keep the sunburn at bay wherever your skin stays covered from our soft and luscious fabric that contains tiny little sun-blocking particles.

When you are out taking in the sites, smells, and feel of the country grab a customer favorite. The famous Oceanside Tunic Dress now comes in an amazing pattern perfect for everyday elegant protection inspired by the title around the markets while wandering around Morocco. Our sun protective styles in patterns modeled after ornate hand-painted tiles in corals and pinks make you feel like you are always on vacation even if you are just exploring your hometown.

After taking in the markets, jump right into the beautiful blue waters. Our best-selling Ruche Swim Shirt with adjustable length on the side and a stand-up mandarin collar is perfect for those searching out the blue. Blue is abundant in this North African country. Local artisans look to the sea and sky for their color palette. We were particularly inspired by the diversity of each local from the spice markets to the dessert. It always came back to taking in the water that we can never get enough of in a very sunny and warm climate.

You won’t ever want to leave once you’ve explored in your new sun protective wardrobe. Take it with you wherever you wander this year!

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Behind The Design

What is Waxed Cotton?

Waxed cotton is cotton with a wax woven into or applied to the cloth. It originated in the sailing industry in England and Scotland and became widely used by many for waterproofing. Early mariners noticed that wet sails were more efficient than dry sails, but due to their weight slowed the ships down. In the 15th century, mariners applied fish oils and grease to their sails. The result was efficient sails in dry weather, lighter sails in wet weather. It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention and in this case, wax cotton has been used ever since.

We chose waxed cotton for the Merino Collection because it is great for cooler weather and is a rugged, natural fabric that will look better with some wear and tear. All our new wax cotton hats feature a 100% cotton canvas with a wax type finish. This non-greasy finish will show marks and wear as part of its authentic heritage, getting better with age.

Each hat is custom crafted with unique performance details like a packable roll-up feature, chin cord, plaid cotton lining, ear flaps, these hats exceed all rigorous testing measures for sun protection and offer a 3 inch or larger brim for coverage. Finished with a wax and oil process, our UPF 50+ wax cotton hat are impervious to rain and snow- and actually look better with wear.

Our women’s Waxed Cotton Kettle Hat is water resistant with a 4-inch brim. This sun hat is loaded with character and ready to deliver UPF 50+ sun protective style. This Wax Cotton Sun Hat is packable, weather resistant and ready accentuates your look. Stylish features like the plaid cotton lined crown and the adjustable fit will ensure this little beauty becomes one of your favorites! The best part is this sun hat will take on the most extreme abuse and look even better with wear.

Touches like a leather crown band and interior sweatband make our Men’s Waxed Cotton Fedora a must have for the season. Not just your ordinary Waxed Cotton Fedora this hat offers the best in travel-friendly features: a roll up design for easy packing, a chin cord with toggle for security, a plaid cotton lined crown and leather crown band trim for on-trend style. The best part is this wax cotton hat is made of 100% cotton and finished with a wax and oil process that makes it impervious to rain and snow.

This men’s hat features a plaid fold down ear flaps for superior coverage. The Wax Cotton Cap made in a traditional baseball style with a 4” bill and side grommets for breathability. Stylishly lined with a plaid cotton crown, this wax cotton baseball cap requires easy care spot cleaning and features comfort ready fold down ear flaps for unexpected weather and versatile style. This hat is made of 100% cotton finished with a wax and oil process that makes them impervious to rain and snow.

This wide brim, Waxed Cotton Boonie Hat delivers ultimate sun protection with a 3-inch brim that provides sun coverage, but not so cumbersome that you cannot move your head about freely. Go ahead and wad it up and jam it in your fishing vest or travel bag, we promise with a little unraveling, this wax cotton Boonie hat will march right back into wearable shape. Stylishly lined with a plaid cotton crown, and comfort features like adjustable drawcord fit, chin cord for security and comfort ready fold down ear flaps make this Boonie cap your new favorite. The best part is this hat is made of 100% cotton and finished with a wax and oil process that makes it impervious to rain and snow.

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Behind The Design

What is Merino Wool?

There are many reasons why choosing a few key pieces for your wardrobe with a merino wool blend is important. You can thank us later when they become some of your most used items for any season. Merino wool comes from the Merino breed of sheep that originated from Spain and now is domesticated in Australia. This amazing breed of sheep produces the wool that has an excellent warmth to weight ratio and has a softness that you won’t find with other wool and wool blends.

Merino sheep provide the finest fiber for the softest wool. Our Merino wool blend is sourced from sheep that grow their wool under extreme conditions, making their wool the best suited for year-round comfort. Coolibar’s technical fabric blends wool and viscose from Bamboo with a hint of Spandex for fit and washability.

Unlike other merino fabrics, the Coolibar merino wool blend is unique and perfect for those trying to stay protected from the sun. Our blend is as soft and lightweight as your favorite t-shirt, beautifully machine washable and naturally anti-bacterial to manage odor. It is also UPF 50+ rated meaning that it blocks 98% of both UVA and UVB rays. We created this blend especially for those who want to enjoy the outside comfortably.

We want to go where ever you want to go! When creating this blend because we wanted to keep it lightweight and make sure that it breathed and insulated at the same time, making our Merino Wool Collection perfect for year-round temperature changes. It also is not uncommon for a user to wear garments for multiple days in a row, this makes any of our items perfect for those who travel lightly. If you are taking a trip to Europe this winter, the natural anti-bacterial nature of merino wool will make your packing goals much easier.

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