Exquisite sun protection. Protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun's rays and help to prevent sun damage and skin cancer.


Frequently Asked japarra Questions

What is a japarra umbrella made of and why is it sustainable?

We're so glad you asked, there are so many reasons!

We believe in lasting design and want to resist a throw away culture that is so harmful to the environment and our planet. We were shocked to discover that enough umbrellas are discarded annually to build 24 Eiffel Towers every single year. Most of the umbrellas discarded end up in landfill and do not biodegrade. We do not want to participate in this cycle of throw away, disposable, non recyclable, non biodegradable design. 

Our fabric is 100% cotton.

Cotton is sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable, making it an excellent choice as an environmentally-friendly fiber, throughout its entire product life cycle. Most chemical fibers are petroleum based, which means they come from nonrenewable resources. Cotton is a renewable resource because it can be planted and harvested year after year.

Cotton is biodegradable, so it can replace nylon, plastic and polyester that umbrellas are usually made with. We also design with 100% cotton, a single source fibre, which aids biodegradation. As a natural product, cotton is biodegradable, which means that it breaks down when put into a composting pile or bin. Because of cotton's biodegradable properties, cotton can also be recycled and used in the manufacture of useful materials, such as household insulation.

Our handles are made from 100% bamboo.

The “J handle” and shaft is made of bamboo which is a 100% renewable resource and the world's fastest growing plant. Bamboo can grow 1-to-4 inches in a day and regrows quickly after being cut down, making it the No. 1 renewable resource. Since the plant's health is improved by cutting, bamboo can be re-harvested every three years without any harmful effects on the environment.

Our umbrellas are thoughtfully packaged. 

Our umbrellas are sent wrapped in tissue paper or kraft tissue made from 100% Post Industrial Recycled Fibers. Made in the USA. Our Recycled Kraft Tissue Paper is made from 100% recycled fibers. Made in the USA.

Our boxes are made with

  • 100% post-consumer and post-industrial content
  • Fully recyclable and biodegradable
  • Absolutely NO virgin fiber content
  • Made in the USA

Our masks are also packaged in

  • 100% recycled & 50% post consumer waste poly mailers.
  • Fully recyclable
  • Made in the USA
We use our fabric scraps to tie our hangtags to the umbrella instead of plastic or nylon, plus it's simply less wasteful. 

    Whenever possible we use a stamp for our logo so we don't contribute to the plastic waste caused by labels. 

    So, while we are small, we do plan on being mighty, and we want to start doing the right thing from the beginning. 


    Why protect your skin from the sun?

    90% of skin aging is caused by exposure to the sun. UVA rays cause pigmentation, skin aging & skin cancer. UVB rays cause sunburn, skin aging & skin cancer. Now you know. 

    UVA radiation penetrates the dermis and induces the pigmentation of skin, promoting bronzing by means of augmenting the synthesis of melanin. Histologically, UVA radiation also can cause damage to the peripheral vascular system, induce cancer of skin, and in an indirect manner promote formation of free radicals. (Flor, J., et. al., 2007). Over time, it provokes alterations in collagen and elastic fibers, leading to premature aging (Ribeiro, R. P., et al., “Avaliação do Fator de Proteção Solar (FPS) in vitro de produtos comerciais e em fase de desenvolvimento” Revista Infarma, v. 16, 2004).

    UVB radiation can promote sunburns (erythemas), bronzing of the skin, and premature aging. UVB radiation is also responsible for the transformation of skin ergosterol to vitamin D. Frequent and intense exposure to UVB radiation can cause breaks in DNA, and suppress the immune response of the skin. In this way, beyond increasing the risk of fatal mutations, manifested in the form of skin cancer, its activity reduces the chance of a malignant cell being recognized and destroyed by the organism (Flor, J., et al., 2007).

    The data is clear, listen to the experts

    “Sun damage is a big issue for concern. Generally the planet is hotter, and we’re seeing a lot more sun exposure than we did just four or five decades ago. This results in many new cases of skin cancer, as well as higher expenditures in health care for actinic keratosis, a scaly or crusty bump that is a precursor of skin cancer and a by-product of sun damage.  It’s a very common condition in the Western world, and the frequency of diagnoses of keratosis has gotten much worse in the last 20 years because of the downgrading of the environment”

    “If you aren’t taking care of your skin to protect against the risk of skin cancer, then at least do so for vanity’s sake: About 90 percent of visible skin aging is caused by harmful UV rays from the sun.” Conde Nast Traveler

     “I routinely recommend sun-protective clothing to my clients to protect against sunburns, minimize the risk of skin cancer, and prevent photoaging,” says Geronemus. “The bottom line is, there is a real value with these items, and they are underutilized.” Dr. Roy Geronemus, director of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York

    Why can't I just use sunscreen or a hat?

    We are not suggesting you stop using sunscreen! But the reality is that most of us don't use it correctly. We don't use enough and we don't reapply often enough, or at all, and we miss spots too.

    Then there is the white cast that is common across sunscreens that means that most brands just don't suit every skin tone. So, for some people using sunscreen may not be a satisfactory option. Our umbrellas are purposefully made to suit everyone. And every skin shade.

    In addition there are very real concerns about the environmental impact of chemical sunscreens and in particular their impact on our reefs. Chemical sunscreens upset the ecology of our oceans. Several countries have banned certain types of sunscreen including the state of Hawaii. To put it in perspective 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in oceans every year per National Geographic.

    Sun screens are just not effective enough, on their own, as our planet gets warmer. Because they are topically applied to the skin people often miss spots, apply unevenly, don't use enough, forget to reapply or don't apply regularly. 

    Regarding hats, again they are helpful but not enough on their own. Leaving flat hat hair aside (what else can you do with that?) hats only protect part of your face leaving your lower face and your neck and chest exposed. A cap is even worse. Caps leave both sides of your face exposed as well.

    By using a japarra umbrella you can get full face, neck and decolletage coverage and you can angle your umbrella to block the sun too. You're welcome. It's beautiful under the shade.

    In short an umbrella ia a cost effective addition to your sunscreen routine to protect your skin and your investment in skincare.

    Why are some umbrellas sold out?

    Bigger isn’t always better. We believe good things come in small batches which is why we always aim to sell out. They are limited edition and exclusive, just the way we like it. When we sell out of an umbrella, we're sorry but they're gone. This cuts back on waste & leads to faster, new fabric drops which is always exciting!

    Are they waterproof?

    No. There are waterproofing sprays you can buy online or at a hardware store and you can spray your umbrella. I used to do this and I preferred nano technolgy sprays because they reduce the impact on the environment. They are non toxic to the environment, animals & importantly to you! It doesn't take long and you should wait 24 hours after spraying for it to "cure". I simply couldn't spray all my umbrellas by hand but if you are only doing 1 or 2 it is quick and easy to do. They would then be protected for light rain. If you would like any tips on how to do this please email me and I'd be happy to send you some pro tips!