As skin cancer rates have soared and consumers have become more aware of the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun, the market for UV protective clothing has been growing markedly, according to a new report from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence – UV protective clothing: a practical approach to sun care
Expansion in the market has also been due to improvements in the functionality and appearance of UV protective clothing. In the early 2000s, the majority of items were heavy and dark and lacked style and comfort. But many items on the market today are fashionable as well as functional and such garments are available in a wide variety of colours, prints and styles.
In addition, the range of clothing items available has grown to include athletic wear, casual wear and outdoor sports wear. In the case of athletic wear and outdoor sports wear in particular, UV protective clothing is now being worn for a wide range of activities including climbing, cycling, fishing, football, golf, hiking, kayaking, sailing, skiing, surfing, swimming and tennis.
UV protective garments on offer at the premium end of the market boast of a number of performance features in addition to UV protection including antimicrobial action, comfort stretch and moisture management. Some of these products are also highly versatile as they can be worn as casual wear, sportswear and even fashion wear.
Reflecting these developments, UV protective garments and accessories are sold by well established clothing brands as well as by sports retailers. Also, a growing number of companies in the outdoor wear industry have incorporated UV protective technologies into their collections of technical clothing.
In Australia -- known by many as the skin cancer capital of the world and a leader in the development of UV protective technologies for textiles, UV protective fabrics are employed in a range of technical applications, including high visibility vests and police uniforms, as well as school uniforms.
Looking ahead, there is an opportunity for suppliers of UV protective clothing to increase their sales by reaching a wider group of consumers as people live longer and spend more time outdoors.