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Finding the Bright Side

How one brand turned a tragedy into a cheerful line of sun-protective gear

By Deanna Pai

Finding the Bright Side

By Deanna Pai

Sunday Crew was born not for the love of golf but out of a family tragedy. “My father passed away of melanoma in 2016,” founder Brad Wilson says. Since skin cancer is largely preventable when the proper measures are taken against UV exposure—by far its biggest risk factor—Wilson wanted to find a way to spread the word that everyone needs adequate, consistent sun protection.

Few things require sun protection quite like golf; the ideal playing conditions—blue skies and bright sunshine—are also those in which sun exposure is at its peak. And you’re not alone if you’re more focused on coming in under par than you are on reapplying sunscreen, which is why sun-protective clothing can be a gamechanger.

But Wilson realized that none of the sun-safe designs on the market really worked for golf. So, in 2017, he decided to create his own line inspired by his family and friends. “Over the years, our favorite day of the week has always been Sunday, as it’s the day you can usually get the whole crew together to catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s busy lives,” he explains. He named the company after this tradition.

Sunday Crew’s golf polos borrow inspiration from Hawaiian shirts but go the extra mile to ensure the best possible performance—think odor-neutralizing, moisture-wicking fabric; a thoughtful fit that flatters and allows for easy movement; and fun, whimsical patterns to help you stand out on the green. And unlike the average cotton t-shirt, which offers an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 7, these polos carry UPF 50+, meaning they protect skin against 98% of UV rays.

But Sunday Crew wasn’t just created to offer stylish golf gear. “We started Sunday Crew to help spread our melanoma mission project,” Wilson says. A big part of fulfilling that mission is with the Sunday Crew nonprofit foundation, which hosts golf tournaments to raise money for melanoma research. At a recent event, Sunday Crew even partnered with a nonprofit that helps screen patients for melanoma. “Two of our players actually had spots that needed to be removed,” Wilson says. “That would have gone undetected without our event.”

A portion of the proceeds from Sunday Crew apparel sales is donated to the nonprofit—so with each brightly patterned polo you buy, you’re protecting yourself and contributing to a good cause. Talk about a win-win. Though the company is already making a difference, Wilson hopes to expand the line beyond Hawaiian-style polos. “Our goal in the future is to have the most stylish, sun-safe apparel on the market,” he says. Everything is fair game: long sleeves, swim shirts, hats, and sun sleeves to protect you from head to toe. Because golf is important, but it’s not worth your life.