When Heather Tate McCartney discovered her father had been diagnosed with melanoma, one of the fastest growing skin cancers in Canada, she started swimming in T-shirts and wrapping herself in towels to block the harmful rays of the sun.
The look wasn't exactly pretty, let alone effective. "I knew I had to start covering up with more than just sunscreen," says Ms. McCartney, who lives in Oakville, Ont. "As I entered my 40s my skin just couldn't tolerate the sun like it used to."
While looking for a more flattering alternative she came up with a stylish line of clothing that offers health benefits and fashion in one easy application. She called it UV Couture and launched it in 2012.
The brand consists of shirts, cover-ups, zipped jackets, dresses, leggings and skirts in solid colours and eye-catching patterns. The fabrics have an ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, of 50 that blocks 99 per cent of harmful UV rays. Typical summer clothing has a UPF of about 10, experts estimate.
Designed and made in Canada, UV Couture clothing is priced from $39 to $165 and is sold online and through retailers.
Clothing is better than sunscreen for protecting skin, doctors say, because people usually don’t apply enough sunscreen to keep them protected for hours at a time. Sunscreens also come off in the water and slide off with perspiration....