Education can be constructed to be a profit centre or brand funded.

Rayosan® Case Study development of global sun protective textile market.

The obvious solution is often staring us in the face! 
Problem- increased risk of skin cancer due to Ozone depletion, global warming and climate change. How do we protect the human body’s largest organ from harmful UV rays and still maintain wearer comfort?

We recognised that covering up is a better way to protect your skin but how do you do this and NOT GET TOO HOT?

Solution –We initiated research with UNSW that resulted in reactive dyestuffs now called Rayosan that can increase light weight cotton protection from a UPF < than 10 to a UPF >40 plus without any additional garment weight, impact on wearer comfort and at marginal cost.

Rapelle developed a textile dyestuff treatment that can block harmful UV rays but remains fast to washing, bleach, sweat and has no impact on wearer comfort. The resulting product called Rayosan increases the woven fibre UPF (Ultra violet Protection Factor) up to 50+ (maximum UPF) on garments made from natural fibres and is particularly effective on light weight summer garments that generally have a UPF less than 10.

Line extension – if you can increase a new garments UPF with a textile treatment why can’t you increase any garments UPF? What about all the garments in the drawer or wardrobe? Result, you can now buy wash cycle additives that can increase garment sun protection each time you put them in the washing machine.


Step 1 define target audiences. 

We identified as our primary target audience outdoor workers due to exposure risk and potential litigation. Our secondary target audience was mums with young children because of their willingness to protect young children’s skin who are most at risk to long term damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Outdoor workers

Who better to promote sun safety than Surf Life Savers?

We developed the Sunsafe Surf Life Saving uniform in step with the SLSA National Council and introduced Australia’s and the world’s first range of high UPF clothing and secured sponsorship by Coca Cola for national distribution in 1993.

Researched and wrote the first OH&S manual for outdoor workers approved and endorsed by the Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia and secured sponsorship to underwrite the project and assist with distribution.

In partnership with UNSW and Professor Mike Pailthorpe lobbied to have implemented the first voluntary  Standard AS/NZS:1996 governing sun protection for textiles.

Mums with young children.

Mums will read labels and the labels were developed as educational tools in their own right as they were treated with a photo chromatic ink that a) changed colour held under the untreated clothing and b) did not change colour when held under treated clothing. The sun’s harmful UV rays were in effect visible and the brighter the red colour the more UV, the UV indicator showed the garments protection level to the maximum UPF of 50+  to promote understanding of the new UPF system for textiles as opposed to SPF for skin.

‘Frizzle Sizzle’
Conceived,  co wrote, produced and published this children’s book which sold in excess of 100,000 copies in Australia with assistance from the then Queensland Government Premier Wayne Goss. Frizzle Sizzle was distributed to every Kindy and Year 1 child in Queensland. The books illustration and content was approved by the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

Illustrations from the book were developed as fashion garments for retail.

Example of Sunsafe range of clothing with UPF 40 plus

Bernard Thompson is credited in some markets as the founder of the global sun protective textile industry that has estimated annual retail sales value in excess of US $20 million


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