Virginia Tech Graduate Develops Skin-Friendly Clothing Line Through Personal Connection
BLACKSBURG, Va. — May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Catherine Maxwell spoke with a young entrepreneur with a special connection to the cause.
Virginia Tech graduate Erica Sullivan Feggeler, who developed the LU V line of sun-protective clothing. A pun for her company, Low Ultraviolet. Feggeler has found a way for young and old to stay fashionable while protecting their skin from sun damage.
“A lot of what’s on the market is for older people and I just didn’t feel good wearing those clothes.”
Her brand was launched after her mother was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. This persuaded Feggeler to have her first skin exam at age 21, where she was told she had precancerous biopsies. “I had absolutely no idea that skin cancer was something you had to worry about when you were young and in your twenties.”
This led her to have conversations with friends whom she soon realized skin cancer is more common than most realize.
“And every conversation I had was people bringing some form of skin cancer experience saying ‘Oh I had a family member or loved one’ and every conversation I had led me to want to create my own brand to help people be proactive versus reactive in their sun protection.
Thus, the LUV clothing line was created with the main objective of #eclipsecancer. “Avoiding skin cancer is our mantra, our motto and what we strive for every day.”
So how do these garments protect skin from the sun or live up to their mantra? It all has to do with a thing called UPF or ultraviolet protection factor. This is a rating given by the Skin Cancer Foundation on Clothing.
“So you send your textile to the skin cancer foundation and they run tests on it and they’re the determining factor as to what has that UPF rating.” For example: a shirt labeled UPF 50 allows only 1/50th of UV rays to reach your skin.
“Even small steps to take care of your skin’s health can now make such a big difference.”
Remember this summer to love or LUV your skin by protecting it. Here are some tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation to protect your skin: Wear UPF clothing, but also apply sunscreen to exposed parts of your body. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses, seek shade, and say no to tanning booths.
LUV’s future goals are to expand into men’s and children’s clothing. If you are interested, you can check out their website at lowultraviolet.com
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