Finally, the long dark days of winter are slowly waning, making space for spring - the season of transformation, bloom and more sunshine! So while we look forward to warmer days and more colourful adventures in the great outdoors, we put together a little guide for you on how you can protect your kids from the harmful effects of the sun with the pieces of clothes you choose to dress them in. All, while making the most out of the great weather and creating colourful memories outside.
What’s the deal with UPF?
You might have heard the abbreviation “UPF” being thrown around a couple of times, especially in conversations about swimwear. Sure, it’s got something to do with sun protection. But what exactly, you might be wondering? We’ve got you covered. UPF stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor” and is a standard to measure sunburn protection. To be more precise, it measures how effective sun-protective fabrics are. As we know, the sun emits harmful UV radiation. These, in turn, can be absorbed by certain fabrics and protect our small and big human bodies from these harmful rays.
What makes fabrics sun-protective?
Glad you’ve asked! First and foremost - contrary to popular belief, fabrics do not have to undergo chemical treatments to be sun-protective or UPF-labelled. While additional chemical treatments do exist to add chemical UV absorbers to high-tech fabrics, they are more the exception than the norm. Rather, this has a lot to do with factors, such as colour, construction and coverage. Let’s take a closer look!
Colours - bright clothing for sunny rays
Luckily for us at Maxomorra, we love our bright colours and we are happy to share that dark and bright colours are the most effective when it comes to the absorption of UV rays! The brighter and merrier, the better. Both, for colourful outdoor adventures and being protected from the sun.
Construction and fabric weight - the denser and heavier the better
Take any piece of clothing you’ve got at hand, hold it against the light and observe. Does the light shine through? That’s an indicator that UV rays can easily penetrate the fabric and damage the skin underneath. Vice versa, if you cannot see through, this speaks for a densely woven or knitted fabric that will do a better job of protecting your skin from harmful UV radiation. In general, the heavier and more tightly constructed a fabric, the more protection it may offer you.
Coverage - cover it up as much as you can!
In comparison to sunscreen, wearing clothing made from sun-protective and UPF-labelled fabrics has quite a few advantages. It’s neither sticky nor messy, you don’t need to think about reapplication and it generally offers you better protection. The downside? This protection only works on those body parts that are covered by your sun-protective clothing. This means long sleeves and long legs are always in your favour when it comes to sun protection.
What is the difference between sun-protective items and UPF-labelled items?
While all clothing that has a UPF label attached is sun-protective, not all sun-protective clothing is UPF approved. Sun-protective clothing suggests that the fabric used might meet UPF requirements but that alone is not enough to have the entire garment be UPF-labelled. Remember what we just discussed about high coverage being more effective for sun protection? For a garment or accessory to carry a UPF label, it is a requirement that a big part of the body is covered and protected by the garment. And this means items have to be specifically designed to meet those standards.
What about your Maxomorra Rainbow Swimwear, does it have a UPF label?
The short answer to this is no, our Rainbow Swimwear does not carry a UPF label. This is because we have not designed our swimwear range to specifically meet the UPF design and coverage requirements. As a sustainable brand, our focus lies in using recycled polyester and ethical production. We do, nonetheless, advocate best practices when it comes to protecting yourself from the harmful effects of UV radiation. For better sun protection, we recommend choosing our Surfsuit and Swimtop styles as they offer more coverage. However, whatever style you might pick, always remember to regularly apply sunscreen and stay away from harsh and direct sunlight. Stay colourful!
Are you a fan of our colourful and sustainable ethical swimwear? If so, we recommend you to go to our store finder and find a Maxomorra Reseller nearby.