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QUT students design sun safe, fashionable clothing
06
Dec '11
Fashion lecturer Dean Brough
Fashion lecturer Dean Brough
The fashion industry needs to take a lead role in designing stylish, sun protective clothing to help fight soaring skin cancer rates in Australia, a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) expert says.

QUT Fashion lecturer Dean Brough is researching how designers, media and cancer advocacy groups can make sun protective clothing appealing to young people.

"Fashion is the forgotten part of the equation when it comes to sun protection, particularly for adolescents," he said.

"In Australia, I believe there is a market for fashionable designs that match our sun protection needs while still being comfortable to wear in our blistering summer climate."

Figures show more than 1600 Australians die from skin cancer each year, and two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before age 70.

Mr Brough said 50 per cent to 80 per cent of a person's lifetime sun exposure occurred in childhood and teenage years, with images in the media of tanned models contributing to young people's reluctance to cover up.

He said peer acceptance for fashion norms, comfort, spontaneity and risk-taking behaviour contributed to adolescent's indifference towards sun protective behaviour.

"Adolescents are concerned about their image. Research shows their clothing choices are driven by fashion trends rather than sun protection," Mr Brough said.

"We need to promote fashion first - it should just happen to be sun safe as well."

Queensland University of Technology

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