Banning The Rays

How Shaun Hughes turned a brush with cancer into a pioneering clothing business

Once or sometimes twice a month, Shaun Hughes travels from his office to a Seattle light-treatment laboratory for a bizarre ritual. He subjects himself to potentially dangerous amounts of ultraviolet rays. Before blasting 31 doses of radiation, lab technicians place on his back a quilt made of 30-odd fabric samples. Twenty-four hours later, Hughes goes back for evaluation. It is a strange routine, since Hughes is a skin-cancer survivor. "I'm a guinea pig," he says.

Hughes isn't a masochist--that is his homegrown quality-control system. In 1990 he helped pioneer in the U.S. the development of garments that protect skin from...

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