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SNEWS Qs: Liz Eglinton talks sun protection and children's market

Snapper Rock's founder Liz Eglinton talks about sun-protective clothing for children and why that market is important.

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Keeping kids healthy and active is vital to the future of many industries. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The best way to get kids active is to have them doing fun activities outdoors. But not only is childhood obesity a problem, so is skin cancer. The solution is to find some sun-protective clothing that protects kids while they frolic in nature, on the beach and at the lakes.

Liz Eglinton, founder of Snapper Rock, talks about the importance of sun-protective clothing, the technology behind her company’s products and the importance of catering to the children’s market.

Why are parents concerned with keeping children’s skin protected?
Just one severe sunburn as a child can greatly increase the incidence of skin cancer later in life. As such, it is vital that parents protect their kids from a potentially devastating future, especially when it is as easy as staying covered up.

What are the benefits of sun protective clothing?
There are several benefits to sun protective clothing as it does not wash off, does not need to be reapplied and is long-lasting. In addition to being reliable protection against sunburns, it also shields against surfboard and body-board rashes, plus it’s a fun way to protect kids with fashion-forward designs!

Is it easier to use sun-protective clothing than sunscreen?
Sun protection is two-fold: while UV50-plus swimwear is key, sunscreen application is still important for exposed areas and under sun-protective clothing where edges may move and expose skin. However, swimwear with built-in protection helps reduce the sunscreen application process.

What makes your fabric technology innovative?
We use the latest fabric technology, colors and designs to ensure Snapper Rock continues to lead this market segment. For clothing to be able to block the sun’s harmful rays it needs to have a UPF or ultraviolet protection factor (SPF or sun protection factor relates to sunscreen not clothing). All Snapper Rock swimwear has a UPF rating of 50-plus, blocking 98 percent of all harmful rays.

Tell us about the history of your company?
After my family moved from New Zealand to Annapolis, Md., a city known for its sailing, boating and swimming, I couldn’t help but notice the incessant need of fun, fresh and functional protective gear for kids on the water. Snapper Rock was launched for the junior sailing market, and it didn’t take long before we expanded our sun protection range for children 0-12-plus years.

Why are you a good fit for outdoor retailers?
Snapper Rock is an excellent fit for outdoor retailers because as a brand we understand the importance for kids to play and spend time outdoors but in a safe and functional manner. We believe summers should be carefree and we want kids to have the freedom to experience nature as it should be experienced, and Snapper Rock allows just that.

How do you describe the style of your products?
At Snapper Rock it is imperative that we design swimwear that kids will actually want to wear. Snapper Rock products are fun, playful and fashion-forward, just like the kids who are wearing them.

What are the benefits to carrying children’s products?
Children’s products resonate well with parents that are shopping not only for themselves, but in the best interest of their children as well. With the never-ending need to make sure our children are equipped with the best products for their own well-being, it behooves retailers to make sure those types of items are at parents’ fingertips.

What are some unique aspects of your new line?
The United States is years behind in sun protection, especially stylish options for kids. Snapper Rock is an excellent solution and the 2014 line features designs by skin cancer survivor Victoria Larson, a textile designer who has brought fish, flowers and adorable sea creature fabric to the collection, making sun protection as fun and whimsical as ever. With this line we have also expanded to the tween market with sizing up to size 14.