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Friday, 25 April 2014

Irish Mother Develops Clothing Range That Helps Protect Against Skin Cancer

While many get to give up easily when challenging times come, others use it as an opportunity to create something new. The economic recession that hit countries around the world cost Irish Designer, Sandra Walsh two fashion boutiques, the whole downturn eventually went on to inspire her to create a fashion item that has become an international hit. 

The Irish mother of 2 used the low economic times to invent Canopi, a €40 fashion product for women who don't like showing off their arms. And in less than 3 years, she wholesales to 17 countries and is the first Irish designer to be sold in the Brown Thomas-sister store, de Bijenkorf, in Amsterdam.

This week, the Tipperary-born entrepreneur mixes style with healthy living by launching a new range, 'Five Tops For Life', which are made from a breathable 'Meryl' fabric, which has a UPF 50 in the fabric, which helps protect against skin cancer. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating system measures the UV protection provided by fabric and a garment with a UPF of 50 only allows 1/50th of the UV radiation falling on the surface of the garment to pass through it.

"I worked as a nurse in plastics at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin and I saw first-hand the damage caused by sun," said Sandra who designed boat-neck, singlets and round necks and named the styles after her mother and sisters. We need to be sun smart even if the sun is not shining in Ireland. It was when I was out playing golf and tennis that I thought about what women needed.

Sandra is donating €2 from every top sold to the Marie Keating Fund. "The Canopi sleeves were received very well by the Emirati ladies," she said. And, she has teamed up with the O'Rourke family from Fashion City as distribution partners in Ireland. "They are also opening international doors in Germany, Russia and even Iceland. I've also launched Canopi Plus for sizes 20-26 as we know that is a growing market," she said.

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