Columbia Sportswear partnered with The Skin Cancer Foundation to introduce a new Omni-Shade sun protective apparel line. Columbia said it is the first global company to receive The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation, which is awarded to safe and effective sun-protective clothing with a minimum Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) 30. The new Omni-Shade line will be available at retailers globally March 15, and may be available earlier in some regions.

As part of the arrangement, all Columbia garments that meet specified criteria with a rating of UPF 30 or higher, carry the Seal of Recommendation and will be featured in global consumer education and marketing programs.

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the first organization in the United States to commit itself to educating the public and medical professionals about sun safety and is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer.

“Sun exposure is the main cause of irreversible skin damage including sunburn, premature skin aging and skin cancer. Because recent studies show that clothing may be the most effective way to protect ourselves from these potential health risks, we are partnering with Columbia Sportswear and awarding them our Seal of Recommendation,” said Perry Robins, MD, President, The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Columbia's Omni-Shade apparel line includes more than 100 UPF rated products for men, women and children that ensure protection against damaging UVA and UVB ultraviolet (UV) rays. Many Omni-Shade products are also pre-treated with UV inhibiting ingredients. Omni-Shade offers protection ranging from UPF 15 to UPF 50.

“Our products at Columbia Sportswear are synonymous with weather protection. We are proud to enhance our Omni-Shade line for our consumers, allowing them to spend more time enjoying outdoor activities, while remaining protected from the sun's harmful rays,” said Tim Boyle, Columbia's president and CEO. “We are pleased to have received The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation and to be promoting it globally.”