Interview With Daniel Jordan From RayWear Clothing Company
RayWear founder, Daniel Jordan, has long been concerned about the countless workers exposed to harsh grow lights day after day for months on end. He believes the cultivators who make a living under these conditions deserve to be in a safe working environment where their health isn’t at risk. So he began researching light radiation and ways to protect people from it.
Daniel’s research led him to a handful of companies that specialize in clothing that protects the wearer from UV rays. But he also learned grow lights emit an entire spectrum of light — aside from UV rays — that can be potentially harmful to human skin. That means even health-conscious workers who wear protective clothing are only shielding themselves from a small fraction of the light spectrum radiation that poses a potentially significant risk.
Armed with this knowledge, Daniel set out to develop a unique line of protective clothing with the safety of cannabis cultivators in mind. He worked with dermatologists and clothing designers to determine which materials possess the most protective properties. Thus, RayWear was born.
[Q.] Daniel, we know that you have a degree in Political Science and worked in the hospitality industry for quite awhile. How did these, and other aspects of your background, help you in your journey with launching RayWear?
[A.] Having a strong background in Hospitality really makes you value the customer experience. You put yourself in their shoes whenever you can so you can create the best experience from their perspective. The same was true when creating RayWear. How can I create something that will give my customers the best experience? The best protection. The best comfort, etc. That has always been at the forefront of everything we do. I want you to be amazed when you try our gear on for the first time. Not only for how it looks and feels, but how it protects you and improves your day. And I think we have accomplished that goal.
[Q.] Prior to RayWear, what was your level of involvement or knowledge in the Cannabis industry?
[A.] I was always a fan of the industry, but never understood how certain substances were bad, but other substances that were objectively worse, were legal? How can you get prescribed synthetic heroin (oxy) from a doctor, but a flower sent you to jail? I was working with a partner in Las Vegas towards cannabis banking and eCommerce solutions when my family’s health issues started to escalate. I feel really blessed that I was pulled away from the banking opportunity because plenty of people are talking about banking. Very few are talking about the health and safety of growers.
[Q.] What obstacles and challenges did you face while getting RayWear off the ground and into the hands of growers?
[A.] Education. Education is the biggest hurdle we face. So few truly understand the reality of light radiation in modern cultivation environments. Growers are working long hours in grow rooms, which when you really think about them, are essentially tanning beds for plants. It’s a small enclosed room, with highly reflective surfaces that are flooded with light radiation. How can anyone believe radiation levels of that kind won’t have any effect on the worker? We want to educate the community so it remains healthy. If we lose the growers, then we lose the industry.
[Q.] Most of us are somewhat familiar with the effects of UV exposure. What additional risks do Cannabis growers assume in regards to UV exposure?
[A.] The problem is that is it not just UV. Light radiation is so much larger than just UV. It is the full spectrum of UV, Visible and Infrared (IR) radiation that growers have to worry about. Everyone is familiar with UV risks, but how many know that Visible light, specifically High Energy Visible (400-500nm) affect the human body just like UV does? That is one of the biggest education issues. Visible light has historically been considered not harmful. And for the average person, it isn’t. But grow rooms and grow lights create a completely unique environment that we truly don’t understand. Science has proven visible light can affect skin disease, melanogenesis, produce free radicals (found in almost every known form of cancer) and can affect your DNA thru reactive oxygen species. But because most people will never experience it, it is hardly known, even in the scientific community. So it isn’t just UV growers have to worry about. It is the full spectrum.
[Q.] How is RayWear different than other clothing that protects the wearer from UV rays?
[A.] We protect growers from far more than just UV radiation. We provide a solution that growers truly need, full-spectrum protection. We are tested against UV, Visible and IR. We are the only company that does it. We designed our gear specifically to combat the harsh reality of cultivation from every environment. Whether you are on a farm, in a greenhouse, grow room or hybrid, each environment has its own unique radiation needs. RayWear provides the most complete protection in every environment.
[Q.] Where do you think the industry has room to grow and expand, in terms of safe and comfortable products specifically geared towards Cannabis growers?
[A.] Not much further than RayWear I hope. HAHA. But seriously, it has a lot of room. Just getting employee health and safety as something being discussed is huge. We are addressing light radiation risks. There are plenty of people smarter than me addressing other aspects of the industry that still need improvement. We are a very young industry, but and industry that wants to do the right thing. People want to protect their team and be safe themselves. And it is conversations like this one that will drive the entire industry forward in a positive direction.
[Q.] What are the next steps and company goals for RayWear?
[A.] Truly, our passion is educating and protecting growers. Being an American Made company we know costs are always an issue for growers, so finding partnerships that will let us lower costs for them is always a top priority. We are always looking for that new fabric that performs better. We also love working with growers who have ideas on how our products can be improved. But we really love the path we are on and are very optimistic about the future health of growers. And their health will determine the future health of the industry.