Friday, June 29, 2012

Cover Up and Protect with SPF Clothing



Colleen Bronstein is a melanoma and breast cancer survivor, mother, artist, entrepreneur and a contributor to the Focus On Cancer blog. After her melanoma diagnosis in 1999, Colleen started her own business, Sun Threadz, which promotes skin cancer awareness and protection with clothing designed to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

As a melanoma survivor I understand the need to protect myself when I am exposed to the sun.

I love the beach and everything associated with the beach - swimming, sailing, beachcombing.

But when I was diagnosed with melanoma in 1999, my world was shaken to say the least. I was afraid I could no longer do the things I loved so much, and I was worried I would be homebound during my favorite sunny seasons.

To keep doing all these things that I loved, I had to be well protected from the sun. That meant I needed to do more than just apply sunscreen.

I researched sun protection clothing in 1999 and the clothing was very generic and unisex. Since I would have to wear this clothing out in public for the rest of my life, I wanted something stylish and feminine. I was disappointed in what I saw, so I decided to design some key pieces for myself.

Shirt and skirt from Sun Threadz
The design part was easy, but finding fabric that had sufficient SPF was not. After years of searching I did find a supplier and my clothing line, Sun Threadz, was launched Memorial Day weekend, 2008.

My clothing can be found at Faith & Hope Boutique at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and on my website, www.sunthreadz.com. 

On my website, you will find SPF clothing for babies, women and men. I have hats, gloves, scarves, bathing suits and jewelry from my sea, sun and sand collection.

Recently, Sun Threadz was invited to be part of the Go Sun Smart Program sponsored by San Diego State University and Klein Buendel. This project is to educate vacationing Americans about comprehensive sun safety techniques and skin cancer prevention. The study is funded by the National Cancer Institute, and has the potential to reach a significant portion of the US population when they are most vulnerable to skin damage from the sun. Employees of the project will be outfitted in sun safe attire and will visit the resorts and interface with vacationers from a nationwide market.

You will always find me and my clothing at the Abramson Cancer Center’s Focus on Melanoma Conference which is held annually in May. I’ll be there to answer your questions, show pieces from my sun-safe collection, and share my own story.

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