hyphen – sun protection pioneer When we decided at the end of the 1990s to develop UV protection clothing for the European market, this type of sun protection was virtually unknown here. Having a tanned skin was considered equally healthy and the idea of a necessary skin cancer prevention was more of a deterrent than accepted. So it was clear from the beginning that it takes clothes that are fun to wear. That clothing should not only protect, but look also good, be comfortable to wear and provide the best material functions for both bathing, sports and leisure. In principle the perfect holiday wear. Our motto for the collections therefore came out quite logically: PROTECTION-DESIGN-FUN.CTION In order to better explain the topic of sun protection and clothing to our little customers, we created the hyphen gang, which not only showed the 10 most important rules for dealing well with the sun in drawings and children’s booklets, but also explained what the ozone hole and ultra violet radiation has to do with being outside and sun protection in general. Since then, the gang and their friends have been accompanying our little customers with the designs for the prints on shirts, shorts and caps. Being a pioneer is not always easy, but it has the great advantage of not being forced into any already driven tracks. One can incorporate the latest findings and developments into his concept and define “where to go” without legacy issues. ‘hyphen’ means connection. When we gave our brand this name, it was already clear that this was supposed to be our program at all levels. Whether it is specifically a matter of combining a wide range of social needs with the right technical solutions and then combining both with comfort and appealing feel and appearance, or whether it is the combination of needs at levels such as production and environment, social responsibility, communication or sales policy trades – it is always the perfect, fair interaction that ultimately determines the real quality of the finished product. In terms of the reliability of UV protective clothing, this has a particularly important significance: ultra violet radiation eludes our sensual perception. The unpleasant consequences can be felt and seen only when it’s already too late. The truly (life-threatening) dangerous consequences only become apparent years or decades later. If a product claims to be protective, there is no way to check if it is true, because the sun protection is neither visible nor noticeable as well. Buying then becomes a matter of trust. This puts us in a very responsible position as a manufacturer. It is our responsibility to provide our customers with comprehensive information about the characteristics and limitations of the products and to deliver an authentic quality. SUSTAINABILITY For us, sustainability does not mean a condition, but a process of increasing the intersection of ecological, economic and social aspects and necessities. For all of us at hyphen, this process means a lot and we will always try to implement further concepts in this sense. So far, in practice, this means: The principled decision to produce in Europe Build your own production in Croatia If possible, buy from suppliers producing in Europe Leaving as small an ecological footprint as possible by abandoning polluting materials, production processes, auxiliary materials and short transport routes of the ingredients and finished products Pay fair wages and fair prices and create secure jobs Making the qualities of our products verifiable and communicating openly Support unselfish projects and initiatives as far as we can Maintain and promote open communication with suppliers, employees and customers (more among history and stories) (More among history and stories) OUR MANUFACTORY IN CROATIA Many work steps and a lot of (hand) work lie between the idea of a garment and the finished product. Our hyphen clothing is made in northeastern Croatia in Mursko Sredisce. The decision for this location was a conscious one: we value the self-confidence and skills of our employees there as much as the good conditions that make it possible for us to meet our demands for the quality of our products and for a sustainable production. We have been producing in Croatia since 2001 in wage confection, partly because the comparatively short route from Munich to the factory in Croatia allows us a high degree of flexibility and maximum influence on the quality of the products. After many years of experience with productions in Asia, we learned to appreciate the advantages of “regional” production. Back then we were unable to fully implement and control our social, environmental and labour law ideas in those too distant foreign countries, where other prerequisites and the consciousness is quite different. In 2008, the social aspects in terms of employees and the environmental sustainability of the entire manufacturing and sales process were important reasons for us to prefer the European location for our own production. September 2015: Sports retailers and journalists took the opportunity to visit our work to see for themselves how we implement our claim to produce fairly, sustainably and transparently.