Tipping The Hat To UV Cautions

Awareness of sun’s ultraviolet danger helps propel sales of protective headwear



STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – As more people venture out of doors, the head-covering industry has pulled a very big rabbit out of its hat as demand for sun protection expands its market.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, says that employees whose work has them outside in the sun are among the many driving what is projected to be a $7.7 billion U.S. market in five years.

After winter's prolonged cold snap, sun seekers may be wanting to spend more time soaking up rays, but public awareness over melanoma skin cancer and the ensuing emphasis on sun protection are propelling the growth in hats, caps and millinery.

Late last month, Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA) in San Jose, Calif., attributed the outerwear findings to strong emphasis on skin protection as a primary skin-cancer prevention strategy.

Because of the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight, GIA reported that consumers’ changing sun-protective behavior and attitudes such as wearing clothes and shades that prevent sunburns, is helping drive demand for sun protective hats and caps.

The market is also expected to benefit from the growing levels of fashion-consciousness among both men and women, the research publisher added.

While women constitute the traditional customer cluster for hats, caps and millinery, a large number of men are also sporting luxury branded hats to keep pace with changing fashion trends, GIA noted.

Fur hats, knitted hats, berets, classic hats, trapper hats, winter caps and vintage hats represent the most popular styles in fashion.

Baseball caps are witnessing strong demand supported by the growing popularity of these caps, among both athletes and non-athletes, as casual sun protection apparel accessories.

Other most popular headgear include police caps and hats, opera hats, straw harvest hats, panamas, jungle-cloth helmets, hat bodies made from wool-felt, fur-felt and straw, and uniform hats and caps, among others, as stated by GIA's new market research report titled Hats, Caps and Millinery.

The United States represents the single largest market worldwide, the firm said. Improving economic conditions, rising levels of employment, and increasing discretionary spending on apparel and accessories, are helping spur growth in the country.

Separately, GIA reported a year ago this month that the market for work wear also was growing, thanks to comfort, safety and functionality playing a major role in its selection.

In particular, it cited technological advances in manufacturing and product designing along with performance apparel with features such as moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial and anti-infection properties among the attributes supporting steady growth over the next few years.


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office is in the community of Great Kills, and branches are in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.


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