Let’s celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month! Regardless of who started it, or when it started, Mental Health in fashion is a growing trend. We would like to celebrate and give a shout out to other brands who share the same goals and passions we do in wellness, mental health, and breaking down the stigma. Check out these other great online fashion businesses who are helping spread the word.
Wear Your Label
Wear Your Label is a Canada-based fashion company is fighting to end mental-health stigmas (in style). The products of Wear Your Label include tees and sweatshirts with prints such as “SAD BUT RAD” and “STRESSED BUT WELL-DRESSED.” An interesting item are leggings with “your story isn’t over” printed across the thigh, a common target area for people to hurt themselves.
10% of their profits are donated to mental health initiatives and partner organizations. A big shout out from Therapy Threads – we love all you’re doing and support you 100%! We totally agree!
Seventy is a brand, that isn’t exclusively focused on mental health, but rather they partner up with different charities each week to create various articles of clothing and accessories. Every week, Sevenly’s followers team up to help bring funding and awareness to the world’s greatest causes. They commission the creation of “cause art” that celebrates the work of these charitable partners in the world.
Each purchase of Sevenly merchandise, whether a campaign-specific shirt or print or an item from their curated collection, results in a $7 donation to the designated charity. Many items are exclusive, limited edition products. In their charity history, they have partnered up with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to create a beautiful tee with print “THIS WORLD NEEDS YOU”. and we love it!
With nearly $4 million raised and counting that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives, we are in awe of your goodness and generosity, Sevenly! Keep up the amazing work!
OrangeMouth is a little known UK fashion and lifestyle brand passionate about inspiring positive change, with a focus on mental health awareness. They say, “Often mental health is spoken about in hushed whispers behind closed doors, and only after it has become cause for concern. We hope to be a source of encouragement for those dealing with mental health difficulties, with our emphasis on raising awareness and teaching people how to live mentally healthy lifestyles.” We love your positive message, OrangeMouth!
However, not all other fashion and clothing brands have done it right and taken a thoughtful approach in merging fashion with mental health.There has been quite a bit of controversy regarding Urban Outfitter’s “DEPRESSION” and “EAT LESS” tees, and rightfully so. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were promoting or even glamorizing depression and eating disorders. And that is not okay with us.
Glamorizing the mental illness that killed some of fashion's most influential figures e.g. Lee Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow. Not to mention, being a huge problem amongst youth today. After protest via social media, they removed the shirt from their site. Thank goodness. Surely brands as established as Urban Outfitters would have the common knowledge of the growing increase of depression and eating disorders amongst our youth. Or so you’d think.
Mental Health in Fashion
Mental health and fashion have always gone hand in hand, but not in the way these social positive labels are creating. Lisa Brown, Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of Workman Arts, who elucidated one of the reasons why art and mental illness are so often thought of as bedfellows.
“There are some camps that believe that art and mental illness go hand-in-hand,” she explained to us over the phone. “There is a suggestion that maybe they do because both the experience of being an artist and the experience of being mentally ill are outside-the-box.” Brown continued, “[Artists] are expected to go outside the box. They are not expected to conform.” Nor, of course, are the mentally ill. “Everyone assumes they don’t conform; that they’re different; that they are outside-the-box. So there’s a direct sort of correlation in terms of where they sit in society.”
This idea is not foreign to those familiar with the history of fashion design. Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Ossie Clark, and Donatella Versace are just a few of the many designers at the top of their profession who are known to have suffered from addiction, depression, or other mental health issues at some point in their lives. This same sensitivity has since marked the careers of many who have followed in their footsteps, most notably in the highly-publicized cases of Alexander McQueen‘s suicide and John Galliano’s rehabilitation following his drunken, anti-Semitic rant that led to his firing fromDior last year.
It is apparent that many of the most renowned artists and fashion designers have experienced their own mental health issues. We think it’s about time to start spreading this awareness INTO the art, INTO the fashion, but in en empowering, conscious, and therapeutic way. Ultimately with the goal of helping kickstart the hard conversations, prevention, and ridding the stigmas that cause so many people to hide, feel ashamed, harm themselves, and not seek the help they truly need and deserve.
That’s why, as a therapist, I think it’s so important to have some experience and partner up with mental health professionals when approaching these extremely sensitive, tender issues. Hopefully Urban Outfitters, and other brands who may jump on this rising trend will look to brands like Wear Your Label, Sevenly, and Therapy Threads as role models in this movement of fashion meets mental health awareness and treatment advocacy.
What do you think about clothing brands merging the world of fashion with mental health? What kinds of clothing and accessories would you like to see? What messages or stories do you feel still need to be told?
Thank you in advance for reading, commenting and sharing with love, compassion and kindness. You help make our cozy corner of the world wide web an awesome place!