Writer: Teresa Madaleno
I have had the privilege of working with companies that offer environmentally friendly products and services. I say privileged because these companies are changing the way we live and it is for the better. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?
This past year, I have been writing a lot of corporate documents and blogs about various types of environmental technologies. I have also been writing about the slow, but steady changes happening in the fashion industry to address waste and the unbelievable amount of energy use in the textile sector. It might sound cliché but there is something noble about fashion houses that are lowering their carbon footprint and producing clothes made of recycled materials. I am happy to say that recycled fashion is something more and more people are becoming aware of. However, there are forward-thinkers who want to do even more to protect future generations.
While I am not one to promote large brands, I want to use Neutrogena as an example. The average age of a melanoma sufferer is around 63. For years we have been told that skin cancer risk increases with age, but there are a lot of young people who are now getting this type of cancer. Neutrogena now has a UV-activated clothing prototype that changes colors when you are exposed to skin-damaging rays. The prototype is a dress that you might see on a twenty-something. At first glance, the dress is white, but when it is exposed to UV rays, even on cloudy days, it changes colors. The idea is to demonstrate to people that you can still get skin damage even when the sun is not out in full-force. Neutrogena officials say their research tells them that a lot of people still think that UV damage can only happen when they are outside in the direct sun.
While fashion experts aren’t suggesting we ditch the sunscreen, they do like the idea of our clothing becoming a constant reminder to be careful; not forget to apply sunscreen every single day, no matter what the weather conditions are.
I am not saying that this sundress should become all the rage, but the prototype could be on to something. What it really comes down to is that we need more of this – more creative, sustainable thinking businesses, willing to try something new and responsible.