Sunday, April 8, 2007

Solar Protective Factory Fact Sheet

Background & Fact Sheet

April 2007

  • The Solar Protective Factory, Inc. was founded in 1989 by two California businessmen, Terrill Breese and Harvey Schakowsky. One of the founders, Breese, had skin cancer, which prompted their curiosity about ultraviolet (UV) transmission in general and, more specifically, through clothing.

  • They discovered that UV rays passed through some clothing at an alarming rate, the equivalent % of an SPF 4-6. They also found that the transmission rates of UV were increased when the fabric was wet, lowering the SPF equivalent to an SPF of 2-4.

  • They spent the next year testing a large variety of fabric to determine which, if any, could provide excellent protection and still be comfortable in warm weather. This led to the development of Solarweave®, their first fabric product.

  • Solarweave® was introduced in 1990 with a UV transmission of less than 3% or an SPF equivalent of SPF 45.

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came on the scene in 1991 after they had decided to regulate sun protective fabrics and clothing as a medical device.

  • The Solar Protective Factory spent the next two years, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing costs, to successfully pass the FDA testing requirements for a “medical device.” In 1993 the FDA decided not to regulate sun protective fabric and apparel, consequently eliminating the “medical device” category for these products. The FDA turned over the regulation issue of sun protective fabric and apparel to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1993.

  • In 1994, under the guidance of the FTC and CPSC, and with the support American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) textile scientists and UV testing experts, a committee of industry leaders in sun protective fabric and apparel was formed. This marked the first time that a committee was convenved with the objective of creating industry-wide standards for sun protective fabrics and apparel.

  • The ASTM Committee D13.65 began meeting in 1994 to develop sun protective fabric and apparel testing protocols. Harvey Schakowsky, the CEO of the Solar Protective Factory, presided as Chairman of these meetings.

  • ASTM Committee D13.65 spent the next three years completing the most stringent testing protocols for sun protective fabric and apparel in the world.

  • The current ASTM testing protocols require UVA and UVB testing after the equivalent of two years wear and tear. This translates to 40 home launderings and 200 hours of direct ultraviolet exposure. Fabrics are then rated on an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) scale.

  • All Solar Protective Factory fabrics surpass the maximum UPF rating of UPF 40-50+. This means that all SPF® fabrics block more than 97% of UVA and UVB even after two years wear and tear.

  • Australian standards call for testing fabrics only when they are new.

  • In 2006 a law firm filed a law suit against the major sunscreen makers alleging false and misleading labeling and advertising that created a false sense of security with sunscreen users. Major sunscreen manufacturers continue to market their products as waterproof and as having long-lasting protection.

  • In 2006 the Solar Protective Factory perfected the SPF® 100% cotton t-shirt that achieves the maximum UPF rating of UPF 40-50+.

  • In 2007 the Solar Protective Factory officially opened its new website: . The website is an internet Sun-Protection Superstore carrying a full range of sun-protective clothing and accessories for men, women and children.

Press Release 4.7.07

We just released this press release:

Solar Protective Factory Launches Sun-Protection Superstore Website

This Shirt is More Than a Novelty T-Shirt

MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, SPF® announces its new online Internet Sun-Protection Superstore, (, carrying a full range of sun-protective clothing and accessories for men, women and children. The new website features only the highest quality UV rated clothing and the most innovative sun protection accessories found anywhere on the web. This site also serves as an important information resource for tips, facts and reports on issues in sun protection.

There is also an SPF blog where scientists, the medical community and the public can view commentary on the latest information and technology in sun protection as well as making their own comments and inquiries at

Seared into the American iconography by the likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando, the cotton T-shirt has become the casual choice of comfort for many millions of Americans. More than 1.5 billion T-shirts are sold annually in the US (thats just under 48 a second!), yet millions of Americans are unaware that these trusty garments allow dangerous doses of UV through to their skin unknowingly increasing their chances of developing skin cancer.

A typical 100 % cotton T-shirt has a sun protection rating of only SPF 6, well below the recommended level of SPF 15. Developed by the Solar Protective Factory, SPF®s T-shirts are made from 100% premium, breathable cotton and are the only 100% cotton shirts certified by independent laboratory tests to exceed both AATCC and ASTM standards (the U.S testing and labeling organizations) and earn a UV protection rating of UPF 40-50+, the highest possible. This protection isnt fleeting either. The T-shirts must pass a full-spectrum UV test for both UVA and UVB after being subjected to 40 home launderings and over 4 days of constant UV bombardment. No other countries testing standards can claim to be as rigorous or as thorough.

Our SPF® shirt looks like a T-shirt and feels like a T-shirt, but when it comes to blocking the suns dangerous UV rays, its more like a coat of armor, says SPF® co-founder, Terry Breese.

Less expensive than most of the ordinary cotton shirts sold by brand-name clothing companies, while blocking over 97% of UV rays, these SPF® T-shirts will revolutionize sun-protection with affordability.

The United Nations has estimated that 60,000 people died worldwide last year from overexposure to the sun. In America, one person dies every hour, of every day from melanoma skin cancer. Over the last five years, more than five million Americans have been diagnosed with skin cancer. Most of the sun damage (80%) occurs before age 18. By wearing sun-protective clothing, especially starting at a young age, it may now be possible for hundreds of thousands of people to lower their risks of developing skin cancer.

About Solar Protective Factory

The break-through technology that the Solar Protective Factory developed in the early nineties that enabled many synthetic fabrics to block up to 99.9% of UVA and UVB led to NASA adopting SPF fabrics for their sun-space suits for children. These protective suits allowed children with severe UV allergies to go out in the sun safely for the first time in their lives.

Products made from this family of UV protective fabrics are available as Solarweave® and Solarknit® in a wide variety of styles. Companies such as Nike®, Reebok®, Liz Claiborne® and Sportif® have used SPF® fabrics for their apparel, headwear, swimwear, tents and umbrellas.

The Original SPF T-shirt Comparison

We recently had our SPF® T-shirt tested against 2 of the top-selling, name brand 100% white cotton t-shirts on the market. The results are stark.

Check out these results:

Summary Report

T = Transmitted UV


% T UVA % T UVB Mean UPF UPF Rating
T-shirt #1 6.7 8.5 11
T-shirt #2 13 15.1 6
SPF 1.65 1.3 74 50+

The results undeniably show that the Original SPF® T-shirt provides top-rated UV protection over it's competitors -- all for about the same cost!

T-shirt #1 allowed almost 7% of UVA and 8 1/2% of UVB to be transmitted through the fabric and achieved a UPF Rating of 10.
T-shirt #2 allowed over 13% of UVA and over 15% of UVB to be transmitted through and achieved a UPF Rating of 5.

The Original SPF® T-shirt allowed only 1.65% of UVA and 1.3 % of UVB to be transmitted through and achieved the highest possible UPF Rating of 50+!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sun Protection Needs

You need to protect yourself from the harmful rays from the sun.