ChangeSuncare bag

Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and Coola chief executive officer Chris Birchby have found a commonality: a shared passion for protecting the environment.

To that end, the pair has teamed up on a limited-edition summer sun-care kit, with all proceeds benefitting the World Ocean Conservancy. Rowley designed the bag and produced it in her signature Neoprene, and Birchby provided the Coola products.

“We got together over a shared love of surfing and being outdoors in Montauk,” said Birchby, ceo of the California-based sun-care brand, which has recently branched out from organic sunscreen to hybrid skin care and makeup products with SPF.

Rowley cold-e-mailed Birchby to work on the project. “I literally could not exist without Coola sunscreen because I live my life outdoors,” said Rowley, who noted she uses the brand’s mineral-based sun protection products on herself and her kids. “We wanted to do something with climate change, and we chose [World Ocean Conservancy] and the serendipity of the whole situation, like what has transpired since we chose it, is kind of crazy. Now more than ever we need to raise awareness and get citizens and corporations to take matters into their own hands.”

The Change Sun Care Kit retails for $75, is available in two colorways and includes some of Coola’s newer hybrid items, including the Rosilliance BB Cream in Golden Tint, Tinted Sport Stick SPF 50, Mineral Liplux in Firecracker, and Rowley’s favorite — a mineral sunscreen. Birchby noted the brands have promised the World Ocean Conservancy a minimum $100,000 donation from the 2,000 bags produced. The kit launches for pre-sale on Thursday, June 8, timed with World Ocean Day, and will be sold on both the Coola and Cynthia Rowley e-commerce sites.

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“You can’t be a successful business without doing something to make a change,” said Rowley.

Birchby hinted at a continuing relationship with Rowley. “We’re working on something exciting for next year — we really cross over in so many ways, from fashion and art to our love of the outdoors and that sort of ath-leisure-y world that Coola and Cynthia both sit in.”

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