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When Dashiel St. Damien relocated from New York to Los Angeles, she discovered the importance of adequate protection from the sun.  Not only was sunny LA weather unkind to this outdoor loving, freckly redhead , but soon after having children, Dashiel realized the challenges of protecting them from the sun as well.

dashiel-st-damien-tribal-sun-sleeve.jpg"My son hates sunscreen and refuses to wear it!  And my daughter licks hers off!" Dashiel recently explained.  So, rather than fight the sunscreen battl that is familiar to most parents of young children, and is of questionable benefit to begin with, Dashiel invented and patented Sunny Sleevez.

Dashiel:  Sunny Sleevez are designed to provide instant, chemical-free, sun protection for arms and top of hands that you never have to reapply. They are made of lightweight 50+ SPF fabric and come in lots of different colors & cool designs.  Despite sales of sunscreen skyrocketing in recent years, skin cancer rates have continued to increase exponentially. Unfortunately, most of the damage occurs in childhood, so it is vital to protect children's skin from birth.
lunchbox-pink-skull.jpg I'm a freckly redhead designed to live in northern Europe, not the year round sunny temps of Southern California.  When I first moved to LA, I realized my life long dream to own a convertible! However, I quickly discovered that this meant my delicate skin was completely exposed to the sun. I drove around with a huge sunhat strapped on and often had towels draped over my arms.  And I still ended up getting roasted

Dashiel:  I didn't know how to protect my newborn son's fragile skin from the sun, after my pediatrician warned me not to put sunblock on him until he was at least 6 months old because of the risk of triggering an allergic reaction.  In the stroller, I tried to shade him with a blanket but that was hot, and his arms and feet poked out.  When I wore him in a sling, it was impossible to adequately protect his limbs.  When I did start putting sunblock on him he would howl, he'd rub it in his eyes or chew it off his hands. I thought "there has to be a better way".  My first attempt to protect him was to cut the sleeves off an old shirt.  This felt cooler than wearing long sleeves or pants as air could still circulate under his arms and legs.  Then I read that a white summer weight tee shirt gives protection equal to about SPF 15  and if it gets wet the SPF is actually reduced further.  Finally, I found a supplier of SPF 50+ fabric, a pattern maker, manufacturer and am now proud to say our sleevez are made in the USA!

he important part of getting the kids to wear Sunny Sleevez was coming up with designs that they wanted to wear.  Kids are my most honest critics.  If they don't like a design, they won't wear it, end of story!  When I first designed the flames, my son demanded to be allowed to wear them to bed and his friends asked if they could have some too!  I knew i was on to a winner!sun-sleeves-kids-fan-beach.jpg

 What is the advantage of using SunnysleeveZ rather than sunscreen?

Dashiel:  Sunscreen is sticky, it takes 20 minutes to start working and after just two hours, it must be reapplied.  It's hard to know if the coverage is even or if you have used enough. There is also a lot of information coming out that some of the ingredients used in many brands might be carcinogenic.  By far the largest amount of sunscreen is used on arms.  Using Sunny Sleevez reduces our chemical exposure to sunscreen.  It also reduces the amount of sunscreen in the ocean (which is a major contributor to coral reef destruction) and it means fewer plastic bottles going into landfill.  With the whole family wearing Sunny Sleevez we have also saved money as we buy so much less sunscreen.

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