Meet Betania, The Emerging Aussie Label With A Commitment To Sun Safety
No hat, no play!By Sarah Kennedy | 1st February 2024
Say hello to Betania, a Brisbane-based hat label designed to protect your skin from the sun while also empowering you to make a difference.
Remember the ‘no hat, no play rule’ in school? Chances are you associate this memory with missing out on playing with your friends or time spent sitting undercover. Fast forward a few years, and it’s probably only now as an adult that you can truly appreciate its importance.
Knowing all too well that many Australians have shared this experience, Beth Zazlan has made it her mission to not only make chic sun safety a reality but also to break down the stigma that can often surround it.
How did Betania come to be? Was creating your own label something you’ve always aspired to do?
I have always been very entrepreneurial, I put that down to my mum and sister who were always sewing and creating things at home. But the real turning point for me was when I could not find a hat that ticked all the boxes. Being very fair-skinned, I was on the hunt for a hat that covered the sunburn-prone areas (including the nose, ears, and shoulders). With nothing standing out that had a minimalist design and affordable price point – I decided to design my own! From there, I started to verbalise the idea with anyone and everyone that I could, to try to determine what people wanted out of a hat brand. It became clear that Betania needed to be age-neutral, adjustable, and practical.
Tell us a little about the ethos of your brand…
Betania’s ethos is to blend modern millinery with a focus on sun safety, aiming to create a national impact. In line with this commitment, Betania donates a portion of each sale to the Cancer Council, placing cancer research and prevention at the core of the brand. Given the alarming statistic that one in two Queenslanders will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, this decision was a no-brainer. Beyond health, Betania is driven by sustainability principles, reflected in our use of biodegradable, compostable packaging, and our commitment to only creating limited product runs.
What is the driving force behind Betania?
The driving force behind Betania is deeply rooted in my passion for creating a product that instils confidence and that resort-style feel, coupled with a commitment to sun safety. I’ve witnessed far too many young and old Australians affected by skin cancer, with nearly every member of my family having experienced its impact.
As a young Australian, I spent every day growing up under the sun, and I still love to lounge by the pool and go on beach getaways. But in doing this, I want to create products that enable us to do this safely (we spend far too much money on skincare to get our faces burnt!) and to play a small role in fostering change.
What inspires you?
When it comes to inspiration, I consistently draw from the Australian landscape and nostalgic feelings. I love to reflect on growing up in Queensland, going on beach trips with the family, and exploring various shores along the Queensland coast (and regrettably getting very, very burnt). A testament to this connection is that our modern bucket hats are named after some of the stunning Australian beaches. Our first collection features the Kiama Bucket Hat which gets its name from the black basalt sand and cobbles that line Black Beach in Kiama New South Wales, and our Bronte Bucket Hat which is named after Bronte Beach and made in memory of a dear friend of mine.
What has been one of your proudest moments in Betania’s lifetime?
One of my proudest moments was finding out that a small community of women in Canada were raving about Betania over the Christmas period. I woke up to several orders and messages from these ladies, expressing that they had learned about my small Brisbane-based label and Betania’s purpose. They mentioned that they had never rushed to order something so quickly. Let’s just say, I cried happy tears that day!
How would you describe the Betania wearer?
I would describe a Betania wearer as someone who is sun-conscious, but still loves the outdoors. The wearer prioritises skincare and health, and is after that effortless, resort-chic feel when searching for the perfect hat!
What’s next for Betania?
I am really excited for this year. I have a few things up my sleeve including some exciting collaborations. I can’t wait to share these with you!