Es Una's beginnings
Like many families, mine love spending time at the beach each summer. All decked out with our bathers on, my kids and husband would wear a rashie (or rash vest) over the top. I could never find one that didn’t fit like a sausage skin, so wrapped myself in a towel or sarong, or simply kept my clothes on!
Over the years, I’ve seen tons of kids running around in their sun smart rash vests.
If you’re not familiar with rashies, they’re also called ‘rash guards’ or ‘rash vests.’ They were first developed in Australia to wear over bathers to protect body and board surfers from rashes. Traditionally, they are skin tight and designed to protect the wearer from the harmful sun rays to lessen the risk of skin cancer.
One Christmas, my 13-year-old daughter wanted to replace the rashie she'd outgrown. It has lost all of its elastication and, when wet, hung down almost to her knees. She needed a new one but wanted it to fit like a t-shirt, not a glove.
We searched all the surf shops and, when we couldn’t find anything in her size and fit, we went online. All we could find to give that relaxed fit of a t-shirt were size 18. My daughter was only a size 12! What young woman wants to buy clothes that are three sizes too big? In fact, what woman on any age wants to do that?
As I sat there on our favourite beach that Summer and looked around, I realised that I wasn’t the only Mum that didn’t want to squeeze into a rashie. For that matter, there weren't any teenage girls or other women wearing rashies either.
When we returned from holidays, I scoured the Internet for a rashie for myself too. But all I could find were rash vests that were more about function than fashion. They were tight and figure-hugging. Basically, the only styles available out there were the ones universally unloved by curvaceous and self-conscious women – from teens to mothers and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
I found many different types of bathing suits on the market, but the majority of them were revealing. There weren't many modest swimsuit options. Some claimed to hide your problem areas, while others enhanced your assets. Whatever the case, they’re all still designed to make a woman feel like she’s parading around near naked! And not every women wants to do that. I don’t. And I am certainly not alone.
According to Es Una’s Survey, over 60% of the women we asked (aged between 35 and 50) felt the same way I do. We found that 70% of those surveyed wanted to set an example for their children by wearing a rashie; however, only 10% do because the only ones available for them to buy are too tight and hug their curves in all the wrong ways.
According to a British survey I read on body confidence, 36% of women stop exercise because they’re too embarrassed about the way they look while they’re doing it. It saddened me to think about the number of women who give up going to the beach or pool with their families for the same reason.
What’s the result of having little to no options when it comes to rash vests for women? We simply don’t wear them. With no other alternatives, we've resorted to wearing kaftans and cover-ups just to spend time at the beach. Worse still, we withdraw from the sun and sand altogether and stay back at the beach house instead of joining our family and friends.
So that’s how it all began for Es Una. We recognised that there were a lot of women who lacked the confidence to step onto the beach in their bathers, so we’ve designed our own ‘Es Una rashie dresses and Summer snoods’ to give you both sun protection and body confidence.
Here we are today, extremely proud to introduce savvy beach fashion – sun smart and body smart - rash dresses for women of all shapes and sizes to give you that body confidence that will take you from the boardwalk and back to the beach.