Frightening but true, melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians aged 15 to 39. Queensland-based sisters Naomi Collings and Kirsty Parnell felt the full weight of that statistic when Naomi was diagnosed with melanoma in 2014.

“Thankfully I caught it early after my sister spotted a suspicious mole and suggested I get it checked out,” said Naomi. “But it really highlighted the importance of life-long sun protection for us.”

Following successful surgery to remove the melanoma, Naomi and Kirsty went shopping for sun protective swimwear. However, they were disappointed with the limited options available.

“It was mostly ugly rash shirts that were very unflattering. I wanted to protect myself from the sun, but that didn’t mean I had suddenly lost all interest in fashion.”

The sisters decided to solve this problem with the launch of their own swimwear label, MARA Swim. The range embraces bold colours and long sleeve one pieces with skin coverage to the neck while turning heads with fashion-forward designs, even being showcased at Brisbane’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival.

All the swimwear in the MARA Swim range is also made from UPF 50+ fabrics for superior sun protection.

“UPF 50+ is the highest Australian classification of sun protection,” Naomi said. “We want to provide the best sun protection for women while creating the most beautiful sun protection swimwear available that’s also made in Australia.”

“We want women to take care of themselves, and we know that if our products are not only protective but beautiful too, then women will be more likely to do just that, and feel great about themselves while they are enjoying time in the sun,” says Kirsty.

MARA Swim donates a portion of all profits to Melanoma Institute Australia to support vital melanoma research.