May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, and budding new country lifestyle start-up, Ballybar, will be centring their social media message on the vital practices people can implement to prevent skin cancer.
The company, established in the outback and now based in Carlow, offers functional-styled farm workwear for farmers.
The Carlow dairy farmer told That’s Farming: “Ballybar is a country lifestyle outfitter for the fields, job site and outdoor pursuits. I was born on an Aussie farm, and after living here in Ireland for ten years, I have almost earned my Carlow stripes.”
“My love for the rural countryside and the people who embody it has never faltered since my big move.”
“Founded in 2020, I wanted to outfit farmers with gear that can last season after season, withstand the sun and still keep you comfortable throughout a hard day’s work.”
“I have always been surrounded by strong women in the agricultural industry, that have instilled in me the importance of making sustainable choices, so we can continue to produce the fibres that are far superior to man-made materials and that enrich our environment. Therefore, when deciding on fabrics for our workwear, natural fibres were always the only option.”
The brand aims to tackle the lack of awareness of sun safety by highlighting the importance of looking after your skin as we head into the summer months.
Unfortunately, non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. More than 12,000 people are diagnosed with it each year.
Like with everything, prevention is key. Measures include applying a high factor sun cream every day – even if the weather is overcast, hat and collared shirt preferably with sleeves.
Top tips for skin cancer prevention from the start-up:
- Wear protective clothing;
- Wear and reapply high SPF at least 30+;
- Wide-brimmed hat;
- Avoid tanning beds;
- Annual skin exam;
- Protective sunglasses;
- Avoid extended hours in the sun.
‘Slip, Slog, Slap and Wrap’
Power, a born and bred Aussie, grew up with an acute awareness of the harshness of extreme UV light and the damage it can cause.
“Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap.” According to Power, this was the saying that was drummed into every Australian child since pre-school.
“So, slip on some sunscreen, slop on a shirt, slap on a hat and wrap on some sunnies. Although the sun may not be as hot here in Ireland, the UV light causes the burn.”
“You can feel the sun bite during the summer. Don’t take the chance; you might not be able to see the damage immediately, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Cover up every day.”
“Ultimately, your health is the most important thing, and as farmers, outside every day without proper protection, it increases our chances of getting skin cancer.”
Factor 50 sun protection
When sourcing fabric for the work shirts, Claire explains one of the key features had to be protection from the sun.
“The Ballybar work shirts come with a factor 50 sun protection rating while still giving you that breathable comfort needed when working.”
“Built for both men and women, they are tough enough for a hard day’s work on the farm yet stylish enough to nip into town.”
“100% breathable cotton, double stitched and double chest pockets, the Ballybar work shirt will be your go-to shirt every day,” she concluded.