Why doesn’t all summer clothing have built-in sun protection?

Mott50 makes clothes with sun protection
Elizabeth Segran. Source: Fast Company.

This is a question that Anne Reilly, an entrepreneur whose family has a history of skin cancer, set out to answer. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime, but the disease is preventable.

Reilly’s solution was to launch Mott50, a fashion brand that includes UPF50 or more in each garment. Reilly explains that making fabrics with a tight weave and low porosity increases their protection against the sun, but this is a complex, time-intensive process, which is why most brands don’t do this. It took a while for the brand to hit its stride, but last year, Mott50’s sales through its website and Nordstrom doubled, resulting in $1.3 million in revenue. “In 2010, people didn’t get it,” Reilly says. “Today, there is a shift in trends.”

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