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Graduate of Virginia Tech develops skin-safe clothing line because of personal connection

“A statistic that recently came out from the skin cancer foundation determined that just five sunburns in your life can double your chances to get melanoma.”- Erica Sullivan Feggeler
Published: May. 29, 2022 at 7:23 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. WDBJ7 Meteorologist Catherine Maxwell spoke to a young entrepreneur, with a special connection to the cause.

Pictured: Erica Sullivan Feggeler with her clothing line L.U.V (lowultraviolet).
Pictured: Erica Sullivan Feggeler with her clothing line L.U.V (lowultraviolet).(WDBJ7)

Erica Sullivan Feggeler is a graduate of Virginia Tech who developed the sun-safe clothing line L U V., a play on words for her company, Low Ultraviolet. Feggeler came up with a way for the younger and older crowd to stay fashionable while protecting their skin from sun damage.

“A lot of what is on the market is geared towards older individuals and I just didn’t feel great wearing those clothing.”

Her brand was started after her mother received a malignant melanoma diagnosis. This persuaded Feggeler to get her first skin check at the age of 21 where she was told she had precancerous biopsies. “I had absolutely no idea skin cancer was something you had to worry about when you are young and in your 20s.”

This led her to have conversations with friends, and soon realized skin cancer is more common than most think.

“And every single conversation I had was people bringing in some form of skin cancer experience saying, ‘Oh I had a family member or a loved one’ and every single conversation I had led me to want to start my own brand to help people be proactive versus reactive in their sun protection.”

Thus the L.U.V clothing line was formed with the main goal to #outshineskincancer. “Outshine skin cancer is our mantra, our motto and what we strive to do every single day.”

So how does this clothing protect one’s skin from the sun or live up to the mantra? It all has to do with a thing called UPF or Ultraviolet Protection Factor. This is a rating given from the skin cancer foundation on clothing.

“So you send your textile to the Skin Cancer Foundation and they perform tests on it and they are the determining factor of what has that UPF rating.” For example: A shirt labeled UPF 50 allows just 1/50th of the UV radiation to reach your skin.

“Even small steps towards taking care of your skin health now can make such a big difference.”

Don’t forget this summer to love or L.U.V your skin by protecting it. Here are a few tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation for protecting your skin: Wear UPF clothing, but also wear sunscreen on the exposed parts of your body. Wear UV blocking sunglasses, seek shade, and say no to tanning beds.

Future goals for L.U.V are to expand into men’s and kid’s clothing. If interested, you can check out their website at lowultraviolet.com

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