Originally designed with surfers in mind, the humble rashie has become an essential piece of practical swimwear for all.
As the name suggests, a rashie (also known as a rash guard or rash vest) was originally used by surfers specifically to protect them against rashes caused by abrasion, as well as prevent sunburn from extended exposure.
Typically worn when surfing in weather too warm for a wetsuit (no surprise that the original rashie is thought to have originated right here in Australia!), a rashie prevents the common chest chafing that occurs from repeatedly sliding on and off the sandy and/or waxed surface of a surfboard. A rashie also offers a little bit of protection against other surf-based irritations, like jellyfish and bluebottle stings.
In today’s sun-smart climate, the rashie is valued for more than the protection it offers against abrasions and stings in the surf. It’s an invaluable tool in our arsenal against sun damage to skin.
It’s rare to see a bare-chested child (or grown up) engaging in any kind of outdoor water sport in Australia these days: swimming, bodyboarding, snorkelling, freediving, wakeboarding, water skiing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, stand up padding boarding…the list has expanded was past surfing alone, when it comes to donning a rashie.
Wearing a rashie is just so…rational!
Why We Love A Good Rashie
As parents we have long loved the fact that wearing a good quality, UPF50+ rashie in the surf or swimming pool negates the need to nag our kids to top up their tween torsos with sunscreen while knowing their skin is well covered with maximum sun protection. A rashie that carries a UPF rating of 50+ (the highest sun protection rating in the world), blocks out over 98% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
A rashie is especially wonderful for families in situations where sunscreen isn’t enough, or isn’t an option. Children’s skin can be especially sensitive when it comes to chemicals commonly included in sunscreens. For parents of children with extreme sun sensitivity or allergies to chemicals in sunscreen, a rashie can be a lifesaver (or skinsaver, if you will!).
As fashion designers we’ve had such fun over the past year, developing and designing our very first rashie for Bon+Co, our Boys Pelagic Long Sleeve Rashie.
And we’ve been delighted by customer feedback letting us know that parents and kids are loving our Aussie-designed debut Bon+Co boys rashie too, finding it fits the bill for a range of both land and water sport activities!
Boys Pelagic Long Sleeve Rashie
All About The Bon+Co Boys Long Sleeve Rashy
We thought long and hard about how to make the ultimate boys rashie. We drew on our 20+ years experience in the fashion industry as well as our own practical experience as parents of active, water-and-sun-loving tween boys.
We wanted to make a functional, good looking rashie that would tick the box for both the tweens that will wear it and parents that will purchase it.
This is the list of essential elements for a rashie that we came up with:
- Flatlock Stitching. Flatlock stitching creates a seam where the seam allowances lies flat to the garment instead of hanging loose from it. Flatlock stitching is made by adjusting the overlock or the thread overedge stitch. It increases the strength of the rashie to allow for the range of movement involved in exercise and recreational activities, like water sports!
- Multi-panel Construction. Multi-panel construction allows for different sections of fabrics for separate body parts (like arms and torso in the case of a rashie) to be sewn together in panels. Again, this allows the user increased mobility, wet or dry. Multi-panel construction also lends itself to interesting design, as different patterned or printed fabrics can be easily combined. This is the case with our Boys Pelagic Long Sleeve Rashie, where the arm panels feature one of our exclusive hand-painted prints while the torso fabric is a block deep blue.
- Unique Styling. A rashie design that passes the tricky tween-approved ‘cool’ test is key…but we wanted to develop a style that was truly unique and ideally something that parents would love to look at too. After lots of time in the studio, our incredibly talented in-house designer came up with a winner. Our unique, hand-painted watercolour pelagic fish print was inspired by the blue water fish species of coastal Australia. The contrast paneling with sleeve Pelagic detail is just right against the block blue and this rashie coordinates perfectly with our Boys Pelagic Boardies.
Sun Protection. Making sure our rashie fabric was UPF 50+ for maximum sun protection was non-negotiable for us.
- Pilling & Chlorine Resistance. Visible wear like pilling, fading, and thinning aren’t just unsightly, wear can also lessen sun coverage and sun-protection factors. We’ve done our best to make sure our rashie fabrics are robust enough for the most active and adventurous kids. If you care for your kid’s rashie by rinsing it in fresh water and drying it in the shade after each use, your tween should grow out of their rashie long before it wears out.
- Great Quality. Our rashies, like all of our Bon+Co garments, are ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Certified. We’ve gone above and beyond to put procedures and checks in place to ensure end-to-end quality in every single one of our products.
But that’s not all…
What’s Extra Good About a Bon+Co Rashie?
Even if they feature all the elements listed above, all rashie fabrics are not equal.
The combination of products used to construct a rashie differ between brands and designers, but the traditional construction using fabrics derived from virgin plastics, like nylon, LYCRA and spandex, still dominate the market.
We understand why. Virgin plastic are cheap to mass produce and create a garment that is lightweight, quick drying, flexible, durable, easy to colour, naturally antibacterial and water wicking.
But what of the environmental impact of making rashies (and other swimwear and activewear garments) out of fabrics derived from Virgin plastics?
Every single year, 65 million tons of plastic-derived materials are created to supply the clothing, swim & activewear industry. 65 million tons.
We knew that we couldn’t be a part of the plastic problem by consciously contributing to ‘fashion pollution’. We wanted our rashie (and general swimwear) offering to be as sustainable as possible, without compromising on quality.
We searched the globe (literally!) and found a fabulous solution in the form of REPREVE sustainable recycled fabrics.
RERPREVE is the world’s leading certified recycled fibre, used by brands around the world to create high-performance, earth friendly products…like our rashies & range of sustainable kids swimwear!
We are proud to source sustainable fabrics to make our rashies from a socially responsible company like REPREVE, who are actively doing something to address the plastic pollution problem, for the good of tomorrow.
Since 2007, REPREVE have recycled more than 25 billion plastic bottles, turning them into high performance fibres and fabrics. While 80% of the world’s plastic bottles still end up in landfill, if more companies actively look for ways to recycle and repurpose the plastic that already exists on our planet, instead of producing more, we CAN make a difference.
Every Bon+Co rashie represents approximately 8 recycled plastic bottles that may otherwise have ended up as landfill. We reckon that’s the secret sauce that makes our rashies feel extra good! Well, that as well as knowing that $1 from the sale of every Bon+Co rashie is donated to headspace.org.au, to help make a difference for young Australians who are going through a tough time.
Wait! What About a Rashie for Girls?
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that girls need good looking sun protection swimwear too!
Our girls ‘rashies’ currently come in the form of hybrid one-piece swimsuits. Our Girls Fruitsty Long Sleeve, Girls Kiki Long Sleeve, and Girls Tropicale Long Sleeve are all-in-one bodysuits that incorporate all the elements of rashie design and function, with the practicality of a one-piece plus some fun styling and feminine flair! We LOVE sun-smart one-pieces for our tween and teen girls – mostly because a one-piece means one less piece to lose in the changeroom…right?
Shop our range of rashies and sun-smart long-sleeve one piece swimsuits today!