When it comes to children's swimwear, Melbourne label - harry & pop ticks all of the right boxes. Environmentally conscious material, ethically made, unisex pieces, UPF 50+ protection and not a single sight of hurt-ya-eyes fluorescent designs. Melbourne Mum and owner of harry & pop searched high and low for swimwear with a classic look that also protected her child from the harsh Australian sun. Noticing this gap in market, Lauren knew that she could create swimwear that all Mums would love to pop their kids in. Find out more about how Lauren has grown her family biz and shop n' save with 15% off at harry & pop using the code hoodmamas (valid until 31-10-18).
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Interview with Lauren Kennedy - owner of harry & pop.
After having our first child, I went in search for his first swimsuit – UPF 50+ was non-negotiable – but I came home empty handed. I searched far and wide but I just couldn’t find swimwear that was sun protective and also stylish.
Over that summer, I became extremely frustrated with the lack of classic options for kid’s swimwear that was also UPF 50+. It was near impossible to find swimmers that weren’t either fluorescent, covered in loud motifs (sharks, sailors, anchors, fish, unicorns, fairies – you get the idea), overly cutesy, far too mature or throwaway quality.
harry & pop happened organically. I took a year maternity leave when my son was born which is when the idea sprouted as a bit of a side project. I returned to my strategic communications and marketing role at a sustainability organisation but just couldn’t stop thinking about this huge gap in the market.
At the time I was juggling the day job and motherhood while trying to start the business. Eventually, sleep became the sacrifice which was definitely not suitable (I was working on harry & pop late into the night and getting up before the sun rose to fit it all in around my day job and motherhood). That’s when I decided to take the leap and focus on harry & pop full-time.
Making mothers lives better n' brighter
Living in Australia, we know how damaging ultraviolet radiation (uvr) from the sun is. With the highest rate of skin cancer in the world protecting our skin in one thing but protecting our children’s delicate skin from the moment they’re exposed is absolutely essential. Mothers can be absolutely assured that our swimwear will provide excellent sun protection for even the fairest babes, with never a fluorescent fabric or loud motif in sight.
The ultraviolet protection factor (upf) of our fabric is certified 50+ which guarantees excellent sun protection by creating a barrier between the skin and the sun that reduces uvr exposure to the skin beneath the fabric by a factor of 50+ - meaning less than 1/50th (or less than 2%) of the sun’s uvr reaches the skin. This means that our fabric blocks 97.5% of uvr. All our fabrics are tested by the Australian government’s primary authority on radiation protection (the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) and comply with AS/NZ 4399:1996.
Besides the fact that I know we’re protecting, and therefore, contributing positively to the future health of their child’s skin I’m also proud that our swimwear isn’t contributing to the negative environmental impacts of fast fashion. I am very conscious of our impact on the environment not only in the production of our swimwear but also in its construction.
Our premium fabric is milled in Italy and regenerated from post-consumer waste including plastic bottles (polyethylene terephthalate or PET to be exact). Our fabric’s innovative construction results in a super soft and quick drying yarn that is sunscreen resistant and chlorine resistant. In fact, it resists breakdown more than five times longer than your average swimwear fabric.
Most popular product
It honestly changes from month to month (and is often dependent on what the latest Instagram Influencer has their child in) but at the moment Byron Bay Blue is the front runner.
Can you add bigger sizes to your collection? The answer is yes, when we launched our size range was 00-4 but at the end of October (2018) we’re adding size 5 and 6 due to popular demand!
Behind the scenes
harry & pop is a family run business. I work full-time on harry & pop and when it’s your own business it’s most definitely around the clock hours. Three days of the week I dedicate entirely to harry & pop because my son is in childcare or with his Nanna and Pa. The other four days of the week I work when I can – early in the morning before our son wakes up, during his daytime naps (which he’s quickly dropping) or when he goes down at night.
My husband is extremely busy with his day job but when he’s not focused on that he’s harry & pop’s enthusiastic sounding board, voice of reason, fellow wine drinker and I.T guru. So by ‘family run’ – my husband encourages and supports me and helps out when he can, my son motivates and inspires me and I work a lot!
harry & pop is ethically manufactured in Melbourne, right where it's designed. By manufacturing locally, we can be involved in the process and meet the people that construct our swimwear. I feel a sense of connection and closeness to our product because I know we have done something to aid our local community.
By choosing a local manufacturer our profit isn’t as great as if we were to manufacture off-shore but we can ensure our swimwear is of the highest quality while we’re also protecting the hard workers who produce it and that’s much more important to us.
I love to go to the beach with my boys. I’m very fortunate to have parents with a beach house so every few weekends we’re off – rain, hail or shine. I find it hard to disconnect as orders and emails are always coming in and social media in constant so the best way for me to switch-off is to get away. There’s nothing like the sea air in my lungs and the sand between my toes to recharge my batteries.
We’ve just about to launch three new styles and a gorgeous custom-print floral fabric. Sign up via our site so you can be the first to know when they're out. We're also adding sizes 5 and 6 (by popular demand) so now our range will start at 00 (3-6 months) and finished at size 6.
ABOUT HARRY & POP
Proudly designed and ethically made in Melbourne, harry & pop puts sun protection first without compromising on style. Our premium fabric is UPF 50+ and chlorine and sunscreen resistant to ensure your little rays of sunshine look stylish while staying protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
Business owner: Lauren Kennedy
Fav café: Second Home
Coffee order: ¾ latte