Our Story

Founded by Australian mother of three Emily Gradon, Tribe Tropical was born from a love of tropical Australia, and a desire to enjoy time in sun without the consequence of prolonged sun exposure.

Growing up in tropical Papua New Guinea and Cairns as a fair-skinned redhead in the 80s/90s wasn’t always easy – Emily’s parents always ensured she was well-covered in the sun, while her olive-skinned sisters and friends ran off to play; but this ‘daggy’ swim attire wasn’t really socially accepted or favourably seen amongst young kids back then, so Emily was often teased and left to feel outcast – sadly there were none of the trendy, sun-safe swimwear options around then that are available today!

Despite sun awareness, use of sunscreen and whatever coverage was available growing up, the affects of sun exposure became apparent in Emily’s 20s and early 30s, when she had to have numerous basal cell carcinomas (BCCs, pre-cancerous lesions) either surgically removed from various parts of her body, or treated with aggressive, topical, chemotherapy-like treatments lasting up to six weeks in duration. Emily now has skin cancer checks every 6 months.