sun+

In search of a new relation with the source of life, the sun.

              

self-initiated
year 2016-2018
SUN+ is a research project into sun protection. Overexposure to solar radiation is harmful, but so is over-protecting with sunscreen. The conventional and highly utilised sunscreen products come with serious disadvantages that outweigh their usefulness in the long-run. Furthermore, chemical sun lotions can damage the skin and are detrimental for the environment. As lovers of the sun, the SUN+ project combines research with the production of sun protecting applications. We started out with taking stock of the alternative ways — and alternative materials — we can use for a healthy and clean way of living under the sun. Our planet and our bodies are the concerns that lay at the core of this project, which has generated a variety of products, including a set of wearables, Unseen Sunglasses, Vitamin Hat, Suntent, Shade Cloths and Prosol D. These products are textile-based replacements for the current sunscreen products that exist in the market, whether worn directly on the body or used in the direct vicinity of the sun. Re-thinking the physicality of sunscreen is key, if we want to live a healthy and happy life under the sun.
Unseen Sunglasses
A different approach from the conventional sunglasses, which are often obtrusive fashion accessories, the Unseen Sunglasses are modest in appearance and protect the eyes against the sun. The ultra light material can be shaped to fit the contours of any head shape and the colour can be chosen (or not) to mach a skin colour. A variety of six different colours, ranging from dark chocolate to soft pink are available, containing no actual glass. The sunglasses are cut out of a sheet of thin, etched metal. This is made out of thin filigree mesh which lets in a third of the sunlight; enough to protect your eyes without inhibiting your vision.
Vitamin Hat
The Vitamin Hat is a large piece of headgear. Its wide diameter casts a shadow vertically covering the entire body during the heat of the day, allowing for the production of vitamin D to continue regardless.
Wearables - Factor 8 Collection
When UV light touches the skin, the body starts to produce vitamin D. Using sunscreen with high UPF factors stops this process, as too much UV light is blocked. The ‘ideal’ factor is UPF 8. It provides protection and keeps the vitamin D production going. Our Factor 8 range of sun protection articles mimic conventional sunscreen in this respect. Fundamentally different, the factor 8 sun protection is not chemical, yet wearable and portable. Eliminating the environmental disadvantages and public health risk of cosmetic sun protection, this collection includes textile-based alternatives to conventional sunscreen.
Sun Veil
Sun Veil consist out of ultra lights garments which can be worn as a veil, enveloping the body. Different prints play with different cultural approaches towards sun protection with the addition of a clear practical effect: a plain print scarcely conceals the body, whereas a busy print offers more discretion.
Sun Tent
The design of the Sun Tent is inspired by tents used by nomads in the desert. The level of protection can be regulated, yet an essential dosis of UV will always get through. The tent is very light and requires minimum effort to set up.
Prosol D
In its design, Prosol D plays with the conventional ideal type of a parasol. It has an asymmetrical cover that drapes down at one side, as though it were melting. Made out of a biopolymer fabric that we are developing in collaboration with research institutes, the cover is an unconventional outcome. The physical make-up of the polymer causes it to block a substantial part of the harmful radiation from the sun, depending on its thickness, while letting in UVB light. Prosol D offers protection whilst the body is still able to produce the vitamin D needed to stay healthy. The Prosol D parasols come with covers ranging from very thin (ideal for a short stroll on a hot summer’s day) to very thick (for long hours at the beach).
 
Shadecloth Range

The Shadecloth Range includes different kinds of textiles, which are designed to provide a personalised shade during a sunny day. The cloths can be suspended in order to offer shadow. The first item in this range, the Shadecloth Handy, takes its cue from camouflage cloth. This effect is created by overlapping cut outs in the shape of a human hand giving the idea of welcoming hands inviting people to enjoy the lively play of sun and shade underneath. The second item, Shadecloth Sisally, is a thick (20cm) tufted cloth. Its open and wooly character has the summery feel of dried grass; a breezy cloud offering shade on a sunshiny day.
              
concept, development, design:
Belén
Interns:
Marie Vinter
Emma Cogné
Ines Machich
Clasien Waas
textile UV tests:
partners:
production hats: 
funding:
photography:
Jantien Roozenburg
Belén