Canadian Company’s Bold Clothing and Accessories Break Mental Health Stigma

A Canadian clothing company is tackling the mental health stigma head-on and quickly gaining an international name for itself in the process.

Thanks to celebrities speaking out, powerful social media campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk, and a society that’s lessening its taboos, more millennials than ever are “coming out” with their mental health struggles.

I find myself refreshed and relieved by the status updates of social media friends who bravely reveal their own struggles with everything from eating disorders to anxiety, depression and addiction.

Wear Your Label’ takes this concept a step further by allowing people to shamelessly broadcast the fact that they have been touched by mental illness. 

The Maritime-based brand was launched two years ago by Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin, who met while attending UNB in Fredericton. The two were volunteering with a mental health organization, and both struggled with our own mental illness.

They decided to create a bold new brand of clothing with powerful messages that were difficult to find anywhere else. The line of products are designed to break lingering mental health stigmas and to inspire an important dialogue on the issue.

“We both found support with one another and through therapy and medication, but we wanted to make it easier for others,” said MacNevin, according to CTV News. “We wanted to be able to say, ‘it’s okay not to be okay’.”

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‘It’s ok not to be ok’ is the motto written on the brand’s best-selling (and gender neutral) shirt.

Others state messages like “It’s rad to be sad,” “Anxious But Courageous,” and “Self-Help Isn’t Selfish.” The line also features accessories, like their Necklace Collection. Each necklace features a gemstone that symbolizes a different mental health challenge or illness, and each gemstone holds specific healing properties to the wearer. There is even an assortment of message-bearing apartment accessories like pillows, coffee cups, and conversation cards.

Ten percent of the profits from the ‘Wear Your Label’ brand are allocated towards mental health agencies.

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The company is also involved in important partnerships. This past weekend, they partnered with a Fredericton salon in support of Liberty Lane, a housing organization for women leaving abusive relationships.

Though it may be new, the brand is already making a major name for itself. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Joe Fresh, has been involved in New York Fashion Week, and currently ships orders to over 30 countries.

“When we have other large players come on board, specifically from an industry which is really notorious for making people’s mental health worse, it is a really huge opportunity to share that message on such a large scale, with so many other people to make a bigger impact,” said Reed.

The clothing is delivered in a care package that includes mental health information and a handwritten thank-you note.

While mental illness is often invisible, this highly visible Canadian line makes it impossible to ignore.

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