(By Charlotte Burgoyne)
A French mom is leading a mini revolution in the world of children’s bathing suits. Constance Hartig is – finally! – bringing to the market a collection of minimalist and stylish sun-protective swimwear for our little ones. Say bye-bye to inelegant prints or non-matching bathing suits this summer; with CANOPEA you will love looking at your kid playing on the beach. Not only will he be classy but he’ll also not damage his delicate skin. And you want some other good news?
What is the story behind CANOPEA?
While on a trip to Sardinia last year I struggled to apply sunscreen on my children. I felt there had to be a better way for us to stay sun smart while having a good time. Back in Paris, I explored the market for sun-protective tops and launched a questionnaire to approximately 200 moms (and dads). That’s when I realized that there is a need for high quality clean-cut products without tons of graphics on them. Now, the real challenge was making a sun-protective top still look classy and stylish.
I wanted a name that evokes traveling and also described the function of my product. The inspiration comes from the canopy – the upper level of the tropical forest – which captures 95% of solar energy. It forms an eco-system and protects younger trees so they can grow safely in the shade of older trees.
Tell us about your swimming suit’s design.
We aim to make elegant, quality, eco-friendly sun-protective swimwear for children. For the first collection we selected four colors for tops. Each color is subtle yet intense at the same time – Poppy Red, Mint Green, Amparo Blue and Pearl Blue. At CANOPEA we also like options, so we selected four colors for bottoms made out of stretchy seersucker which you can mix-and-match with any sun-protective top. The great thing is that our colors are not gender specific, so tops can be handed down from brother to sister or vice versa!
We sourced a lot of different materials to find the best quality fabrics available. Thoroughly tested in laboratories for over 200 hours, our tops are super resistant to chlorine, seawater and sun cream. They are made from tightly woven fabrics and certified UPF 50+ (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), offering the best protection possible against UV rays. They have also been proven to resist against stretching, keeping their original shape over time. This means that they remain extra protective, even after repetitive usage.
How do you see your future collections like?
Definitely, we are getting ready to introduce a new yellow top for the US market this summer and will develop more colors for sun-protective tops for next summer, along with a wider range of bathing suits and one-pieces for pre-teen girls. We like to experiment with lots of styles and inspirations. The only thing on which we do not compromise is the quality of our finished product. We are also working with a dermatologist to get our tops approved by the international medical community which is an important step for us, so stay tuned!