Photo: Andreana Bitsis

The Story of The Garden Collage Hat

The GC Staff are obsessed with sun protection, but perhaps no one as much as our founder, Daisy Helman, who has been wearing fashionable, bespoke straw hats since long before the rest of us were hip to the trend.

The Garden Collage hat came about after years of anecdotal research into what constitutes truly effective sun protection while still managing to look good. Sunscreen, of course, is de vigour among our staff (we especially love Pratima’s all-natural sunscreen and Supergoop’s chemical-free SPF), but sometimes when we’re out visiting gardens we need a little something extra. Daisy had been wearing standard lifeguard hats for years when one day, in consultation with her dermatologist and after reading a few other reports on sun protection from the Melanoma Research Alliance, she realized that sun could still get through the tiny cracks in the weft of the straw.

Photo: Andreana Bitsis

The solution: we lined our favorite, fashionable lifeguard hats with hand-selected fabric from one of the most iconic fabric stores in the world: Liberty London. Each one our hats is hand-sewn and one-of-a-kind, so you’re unlikely to see duplicates at your local park or beach. Frequently, when GC Editor-in-Chief Molly Beauchemin and Staff Writer Nora Rose Mueller are out on assignment in a sunny location, they take a Garden Collage hat with them for sun protection and are always asked by enthusiastic observers, “Where can I buy that hat??”

Seriously– we’ve been stopped in elevators, on the sidewalk, and even at the threshold of our own doorways to proudly answer that GC hats are one of Garden Collage’s most special, signature items. We believe in sun protection, but we also think that it doesn’t have to come at cost. You don’t have to stop spending hours in the garden or going to the beach– you just have to make wise decisions. Like everything, it’s a balance– and this hat is living proof that’s possible to be fashionable and skin-smart at the same time.

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