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Inside Coolibar

Inside Coolibar SunAWARE Wear Sun Protection

“Second Generation” Sun Protection Products

Michael Hubsmith is executive vice president with Coolibar, and had been actively developing sun protection products for over a decade.  He recently sat down with SunAWARE for a feature in their new magazine Perfect Skin Protection to give his take on what he calls “the second generation” of sun protection products.  Here is a snippet of our favorite pieces from the article below.

So, Michael, what do you mean when you say “second generation” sun protection products?

New products are being created around the world. Some are wonderfully simple and highly effective.  A flap attached to a beach umbrella to provide full shade from the side or a glove with a sleeve to protect the left arm while driving, are two clear examples of innovative problem solving.

The most exciting new product I’ve seen recently was a low lawn chair with a kind of canopy over the top. This is exciting as it meets the need of so many parents and fans at their kids’ soccer games or swim meets. It’s also exciting as it shows just how far the thinking has come about sun protection products. I’ve heard friends complain about roasting in the sun during these kinds of events, and this chair helps solve the problem. Some of them even have flaps in front that help when facing west.

What are most important trends in sun protection clothes?

Most importantly, sun protection clothes have gone mainstream.

When made well, the protection offered is completely safe, consistent in its level of protection, not messy, and ultimately less expensive than relying on sunscreen for full body protection. Consumers are beginning to understand that.

It’s exciting that the general population understands that there is a specific clothing category for sun protective garments where ten years ago they did not. It is much more main stream now. This is a significant shift.

And you see the change everywhere. More people are wearing wide brimmed hats as opposed to baseball caps at sporting events, for example, I saw caddies at the  PGA Championship wearing wide-brimmed hats (3”brims all around).

Kids are wearing rash guards (swim shirts) as fashion statements – like a pop cultural garment – just being cool – not really caring about sun protection, although someone else may be doing the caring for them. This is a great step forward.

And, again, most of the manufacturers in the sun protective clothing category are conscientious. They test their materials and you can rely upon their labels.

With all the new sun protection products on the market and all the new product claims being made, are there any that you would suggest consumers avoid?

Well, I’d say a small bikini style bathing suit made with protective fabric is not really what consumers should look for when thinking about sun protection. I also hesitate to recommend the products that claim you can add chemicals to your wash to make your clothes protective.

The biggest issue or mistake that people make is that they believe UV protection comes only by blocking UV rays. So the test they recommend is to hold a fabric up to light to see if any light passes through. This is absolutely the wrong test because UVR is invisible and does not pass through fabric the same way.

Fabrics that claim to be sun protective have been tested using laboratory equipment. Most combine blockers and diffusers to protect you from UV rays. So the chemicals added into laundry may block some, but the individual will never know what the UPF rating is because they can’t test it.

Blocking UVR is not like adding a water repellent. Without testing, you have no idea if it will work. So if a person is really looking for UPF clothing, or sun protective clothing, they should get it from a company that has guaranteed testing of the material and rated it accordingly, and not try to do it themselves.

 

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For the full article, click icon to download SunAWARE‘s FREE Perfect Skin Protection Magazine on your iPad from the Apple Store.

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Expert Rx Inside Coolibar Wear Sun Protection

Innovative sun hats from Escaping the Sun in Style

Finding stylish protection can prove challenging. Additionally, many sun hats on the market today do not protect your neck, cheeks, nose, and mouth areas from the sun’s UV rays. Devra Wathen (pictured left)  is the founder and CEO of Escaping the Sun In Style™, an innovative hat company based out of Hawaii. ETSIS hats offer a smart and sophisticated option for those looking for ultimate sun protection, while staying in style. We decided to find out more about Devra and her company that’s changing the way people view sun protection.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a born and bred Midwest girl who moved to Colorado to “find my fortune”. I enjoyed a great active, outdoorsy lifestyle there and eventually started a successful leasing company, which is how I met my husband Chuck, a real estate developer. After we got married, Chuck landed some projects in Honolulu, Hawaii and we jumped at the chance to move here (who wouldn’t!). The glorious sun and paradise were perfect. Needless to say, I spent my days drinking in the golden sunlight, driving back and forth in my convertible to work, being super outdoorsy, enjoying the fabulous beaches.  We’ve been here since then. I am semi-retired but came out of it when I began my work in Sun Protection with ETSIS.

ETSIS Day Escape Hat

How long has ESTIS been in business? What inspired you to start this company?

ETSIS started three years ago, but has only started to really gain its legs this year. Being a sun protection company, it was born from my own personal need for better sun protection.

About 7 years ago, I started noticing bad spots on the left side of my face and arms. I went to my derm and he told me it was basal cell carcinoma, and after removing it, he told me that I needed to be more wary of the sun if I didn’t want to end up with more aging, spots, or worst of all, melanoma! My derm told me all my days of being in the car and lying out in the sun had caught up with me and I needed to be super diligent with protecting myself—especially the left side of my face and arms, with all the time spent in the car. A long quest to find the perfect sun hat that protected my face and neck, looked good and worked whether I was driving, walking the dog or just out at the beach turned up fruitless.  So I just started pinning towels and napkins into the brim of my favorite Coolibar sun hat to protect against the sun.

Um, this did not sit well with my husband, who said I looked like a bag lady trolling around the neighborhood, and would I please utilize my fashion sense and figure something else out? A girl CANNOT just let that slide! So, I got to work and ETSIS was born after some trial and error. My girl friends loved it, one of them introduced me to a representative of the world’s largest hat manufacturer and the rest is history (so to speak)!

ETSIS Day Escape Hat ETSIS Dayescape Hat

What’s different about ESTIS hats versus other sun hats?

Where do I start? 

ETSIS hats are like your traditional and fashion forward UPF sun hats, with the twist that they can be worn five different ways. Our SunEscape Protection Panels are like luxuriously soft scarves that snap into the inner crown of each ETSIS Hat, allowing you to tie the hat four ways. If you want to protect yourself, wrap the panels around your face, back around your neck and tie in front…add a pair of fabulous sunglasses and you look like a 50s screen goddess! That’s called our Signature Wrap. You can also do an off the shoulder tie to keep your hands free for when you don’t need to wear your hat but don’t want to carry it. You can tie the panels behind your head in a cute knot to keep it from flying off your head in wind, too. Lastly, for our customers with medical conditions, you can pull the panels up and over your cheeks to cover your mouth and nose in a clinical wrap to protect you from airborne pollutants. If you don’t need the panels at all, snap them out of the hat, put them in your handbag and wear the hat as a basic sun hat.

The protection panels keep you warm in winter, but also wick away heat and moisture when it’s warm, so they can be worn year-round! And they’re rated UPF50+ so you get maximum UVA/UVB protection 365 days a year.

Basically, our hat takes a regular hat and transforms it into the ultimate accessory with sun protection built in! ETSIS hats are versatile, functional and fashion-forward options for all occasions and all types of activities. What sun hat can actually say that? 

We’ve heard rumors that you’ve started working with SunAWARE. Is this true and if so how are you working together?

Yes, that’s true. SunAWARE approached me and asked me to write a feature article on the growing trend of sun protection, how it developed and where it’s going. I’m not sure if I can say more yet, but you’ll be the first to know when the project launches!

On a personal level, how do you style your ETSIS hat?  Where do you wear it?

I personally wear the hat in our Signature Wrap style (shown in video below) the most. I love feeling glamorous like a 50s movie star. I usually wear it with a fantastic Coolibar UPF sun shirt or jacket, cute leggings and a cute little skirt, my signature bangles, and of course, a pair of fabulous sunglasses (gotta protect the eyes, too!).

I wear my hats EVERYWHERE. From running errands, going to the beach, walking the dog, going shopping. Anytime I go outside, I put on sun protection—I wear UPF clothing 365 days a year. Since our hats can be worn 5 different ways, I’m not trapped into only being able to wear my hat to some places, but I can wear it wherever I go. Except for black tie parties or fancy dinners – I like showing off my hairstyles for those.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Since the sun’s UV rays are responsible for 80% of our skin’s aging, ETSIS hats are truly an essential component of an anti-aging beauty routine. By protecting our skin, we can help prevent premature aging as well as skin cancer. Our hats are a stylish option for women who can’t always wear sunscreens, or for those who don’t want to have to reapply ever couple of hours.

And they’re soon available worldwide through Coolibar. Look for ETSIS next week at coolibar.com.

 

Video: HOW TO STYLE YOUR ETSIS HAT

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Inside Coolibar What our customers say

Sun Protection Travel Wear

Coolibar Customer Cory H.

We recently received some great feedback from a new Coolibar customer after his trip to Taiwan. Cory expressed what we try to convey, he just does it much better. Cory’s note is below.

 

 

 

 

“I wanted to let you know that I recently purchased an XXL Blue Sky Sun Shirt on the recommendation of Tim Ferriss.  I got it right before a trip to Taiwan.  It was perfect.

 I wore it during the hot, humid day to keep cool and protected from the sun. 

I wore it to a semi-formal meeting where it fit in just fine.

I wore it on a boat between scuba dives.

I wore it on a scooter around the island of Lanyu after I got a little too much sun one day. 

I wore it on the plane ride home because I was so comfy. 

I never write letters about products, but I was compelled after the experience I had with this shirt.  Thanks for making a great product.”

Cory H.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Washington DC

About Cory                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Originally from Kentucky, Cory is an entrepreneur, a former officer in the Air Force and a high school basketball coach.  He loves to travel! He once rode a bicycle from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. He is always up for a good old fashioned road trip in his truck…he lived out of it for two years while exploring the U.S. He also writes about music on his blog yobigbro.com.

Cory at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial – Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inside Coolibar

Coolibar’s 2012 Highlights

Happy birthday to Coolibar! As we celebrate our 11th birthday we wanted to take a moment and reflect on our successes over the past year. 2012 has proven to be busier than ever with an updated catalog, exciting new designs and a growing list of customers. As we continue to evolve, know that we are resolute in our commitment to providing the highest quality sun protection. We want families to be healthy while enjoying their time outdoors. We thank you, our customers, for making 2012 a great year!

Highlights from 2012

  • Fresh New DesignsThe first wave of products from our newest designer, Alicia Pizzo, became available to our customers. Our catalog hit with an exciting mix of new silhouettes and colors for the entire family.
  • Launched Sponsored Athlete ProgramWe called for applications to become a 2012 Coolibar Sponsored Athlete last winter, and we were astounded by the number of responses. There were so many remarkable applications that it was impossible to choose just 5 athletes, so we picked 10. Our athletes have continued to inspire throughout the season.
  • First Coolibar SweepstakesThe first ever Coolibar-sponsored sweepstakes took place this past spring. One lucky winner (and her husband) won a week-long vacation to Honolulu, Hawaii. Coolibar provided airfare, accommodations and $500 worth of Coolibar sunwear.
  • Record Shipping Day – Memorial Day weekend was a record-breaker for Coolibar. Our warehouse shipped the greatest number of packages ever for one weekend. With record heat across the country, our customers were preparing for a SunAWARE summer.
  • Camp Discovery Donation – Through our outreach program Coolibar Cares, we were able to provide UPF 50+ sun hats to all campers that attended the American Academy of Dermatology’s Camp Discovery for young people with chronic skin conditions. A crew from Coolibar visited Camp Knutson in MN and distrubted Coolibar swim shirts, hats, and goggles.
  • Sun Safe Media Coverage – Media coverage on the important role sun protection plays in overall health, anti-aging and skin cancer prevention continued throughout the year. Coolibar had product on the Today Show, in the New York Times, O, the Oprah Magazine, Time.com and on countless blogs. As the public becomes educated on the need for sun protection and the innovative tools to do it, tanning will become a fad of the past.

 

 

 

 

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Inside Coolibar Wellness Warriors

A rising need for skin cancer prevention resources in Tanzania

Cancer care in Tanzania is a great challenge to both the government and the citizens due to limited resources and facilities. Tanzania is increasingly facing a dual problem of communicable and chronic illnesses such as cancer. Those with albinism in Tanzania are especially suffering from skin cancer due to their sun sensitivityThe Tanzania Albino Society believes the total number of those with albinism in their region could be more than 150,000.

The East African Medical Assistance Foundation (EAMAF) has been assisting Tanzania with cancer care through Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) for many years, mainly training Radiologists who are now placed all over the country in public and private health facilities. Secondly they have help equip KCMC with diagnostic equipments and facilities. Despite contributions thus far, helping people with Skin Cancer prevention, especially for those with albinism, is paramount.

Global Health Ministries in Fridley, MN who arranges the safe arrival of the EAMAF supply containers in Africa provided a route to get approximately 800 Coolibar sun protective items into this area to assist with skin cancer prevention efforts. This effort was imperative to many as UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin aging, cataracts and skin cancer.

We at Coolibar wished to share the cheerful photos of when the donated product arrived! Also, a special thanks to our Coolibar colleague Ben Socwell for introducing Coolibar to these life changing organizations!

Photo album of presentation of Coolibar clothing and hat to Albino National Leadership and Member of Parliament in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania:

[nggallery id=30]

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Inside Coolibar

What it means to be a Coolibar customer service representative

We wanted to share with you what it means to be a Coolibar customer service representative. So we asked Melissa, a member of the Coolibar Customer Service Team (CST) since this spring to share what she thinks. Below is what she said.

“Coolibar products are so much more than fashionable sun clothing.  We often we hear touching stories from our customers of how Coolibar products have changed their lives.   Our customers are our best brand advocates and we’ve gotten to know many of them quite well.  Their stories and photos really brighten our day and remind us that Coolibar is an active part of their lives.”

“At the forefront of our customer relationships is us, the CST.  We eagerly listen to stories, recommendations, complaints, feedback, and experiences with our products.  Our friendly, tight-knit team works together to provide each customer with a great Coolibar experience. We are all excited about Coolibar and sharing it with others, which makes it easy to extend those feelings to our customers. The close team atmosphere (both in spirit and proximity!) helps to ensure everyone is working together to provide the best service possible. We are up-to-date on information regarding our apparel, accessories, umbrellas and the sunscreens we carry. We share knowledge between departments and work together to guarantee customer questions and concerns are responded to as thoroughly and completely as possible.”

“With such amazing products, it’s important that the quality of service matches the quality of our products. Being with Coolibar as a customer service representative and part of the CST means going beyond pedestrian services, it means ensuring our customers have the care and attention they deserve. Our CST strives to deliver consistent and in depth attention to each and every question that is brought to our attention. We played a vital role in reaching company milestones this year, such as recommending hot new items like the Long Sleeve Fitness Shirt and the Wide Leg Pant, and setting a new record for the most packages shipped over Memorial Day weekend!”

“We love to hear from you.  If you have any experiences or feedback please contact us!”

Melissa
Coolibar Customer Service                                                                                                           service@coolibar.com                                                                                                                    1.800.926.6509                                                                                                                                                                      (I’m the one below in the scarf, second in on the right.)

A small group of our amazing dedicated customer service team
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Events SunAWARE

Raw Elements Narragansett Surf Event

Take a moment to Hang Ten with Coolibar and Raw Elements

The Waterman Eco Challenge held on July 21st in Rhode Island, an event created as a weekend dedicated to ocean and sun safety put on by Coolibar sunscreen vendor Raw Elements, was a great success!  An estimated 10,000 people were on the beach that day most cheering on the competitors racing to paddle out past the break.

A recap of the day from Brian Guadagno, Founder of Raw Elements USA, Sr. Lifeguard Captain, Narragansett Surf Rescue:

“What a great summer day with sunny skies, what more could you ask for? How about 3-4 foot NE wind swell! The conditions definitely added to the energy of the day and the event. It was so great to see so many men and women come out and paddle! The event is all about you guys and we were so stoked on the turn out and how well everyone did under the conditions. For some, it was business as usual getting out past the break. For others, it was likely the first time they had attempted that and everyone battled and didn’t give up. Everyone made it out and it was awesome to hear the crowd cheering on and rooting for every last paddler until everyone was on their way. I know there were a number of paddlers who were stoked to get out there and paddle but opted not to because of the conditions. We all totally respect knowing your personal limitations and taking a responsible approach toward ocean safety. There were a number of close finishes and the competition was really tight! We were thrilled to have everyone make the 2nd annual Waterman Eco-Challenge the day it was! We are already excited and looking forward to planning next year’s event!”

All beach goers also had the opportunity to learn the 5 easy steps of SunAWARE at the Raw Elements tent, where sunscreen samples and SunAWARE materials were available.

P.S. The lifesaving team was protected by these Coolibar men’s and women’s rash guards.

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

The Coolibar Guarantee

Coolibar’s commitment to providing the highest quality sun protection possible is something we take very seriously. In the past few months, various news outlets posted articles questioning the effectiveness of sun protective clothing. In response, we decided to take a moment to clarify a few points about Coolibar sun protective clothing and our UPF 50+ guarantee. We invite and appreciate all feedback in the reply section below.

Does the UPF protection wear out or wash out? How can you be sure?

Because we are so meticulous about testing, we can absolutely guarantee UPF 50+ protection from the first day our product is worn until the last day.

Coolibar UV fabric testing results significantly exceed all published American and Australian standards and are submitted to the following tests:

  • UV transmittance tests performed according to the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Test Method 183 (AATCC 183).
  • Fabrics tested both before and after life cycle exposure to laundering, sunlight, and chlorinated water according to American Society for Testing and Materials D 6544 (ASTM D 6544); (life cycle – 40 washings, exposure to 100 fading units of simulated sunlight).
  • Garments labeled according to the guidelines specified in American Society of Testing and Materials D 6603 (ASTM D 6603).
  • Each color of production fabric tested according to the Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS4399 for UV transmittance developed by the Australian Radiation Protection Agency And Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

 

Do you need to add additional sun protection to the product such as Sun Guard or wear sunscreen under Coolibar sunwear?

At Coolibar, we carefully develop technical fabrics that are then thoroughly tested at independent labs to ensure each product meets or exceeds our UPF 50+ standard. This UPF 50+ rating is the highest rating available to clothing and blocks more than 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. There is no need to add UV detergent to the clothing. Sunscreen is only required on areas of skin not covered by Coolibar clothing.

 

Do all sun protective clothing brands offer the same sun protection?

Other companies may claim their products offer UV protective qualities, but very few make the investment required to ensure lasting performance. Our experience has shown that a single UV fabric test does not accurately reflect the consistency of UVA & UVB blocking levels across similar fabrics or colors. Each year, we test over 600 samples of our production fabrics, at each stage of manufacturing, so that we can match the UV transmittance level of each Coolibar garment to exact test results. We use independent labs to test every color and every dye lot for each fabric used so that we can confidently guarantee the consistent level of UV protection throughout the life of each garment. We know of no other apparel company that can make the same claim and back it up with independent lab test results.

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Inside Coolibar What's Hot

One UPF 50 Shirt, Five Looks

One of Coolibar’s favorite go to stylists Bridgette Raes recently created a blog post on styling the basic white t-shirt. We thought it was such a great idea, our Coolibar stylists translated it to UPF 50+ with our white ZnO Long Sleeve T-Shirt! View our outfit ideas below and you’ll realize UPF 50+ sunwear works with almost any outfit.

Take it to work…

Take it on the town…

Take it to dinner…

Take it to yoga…

Then wear it all weekend…

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Inside Coolibar

Healthy Life = Happy Life

Here at Coolibar, we talk a lot about healthy sunny living…and we’re good at it.  We apply sunscreen, put on hats and wear Coolibar UPF 50+ clothing when we’re outdoors because we know the important role sun protection plays in skin health.  We also know that skin health is just one aspect of a healthy balanced lifestyle. 

Lucky for us, our leadership team also recognizes we need more than just healthy skin.  So, to encourage overall health, Coolibar has teamed up with Lifetime Fitness, the Healthy Way of Life Company, to assist us in being healthy.  Collectively we have a variety of goals: stress relief, weight loss, strength training, etc. and all hope to transform into healthier, happier individuals.

During our first Coolibar team fitness demonstration we ran, we sweat, we laughed but mostly we had a lot of fun.  In fact, we forgot we were doing something good for ourselves (most of us anyway). We hope you do the same and not only make sun protection a part of your healthy lifestyle, but eat right, sleep and exercise too, as a healthy life is a happy life.

TRX Demo at Lifetime Fittness
Team Coolibar TRX Demo at Lifetime Fittness

 

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