In the creative industry, creatives are able to levy their skills in making work that has meaning behind it, whether that be through social justice or political means. But today I want you to take a particular interest in the way fashion brands have designed work with mental health at the forefront of it.
First, let us look at the statistics
According to many sources, mental health issues are rising significantly, and between 1/5 and 1/10 people suffer with mental health problems every single year. In 2020 alone, that statistic has risen with the spike in Covid-19 due to isolation from the world.
But how does this affect the fashion industry?
There has been huge conversations around mental health as Covid-19 has made us increasingly aware of how isolation can really knock someone’s mental health down.
We know the fashion industry shows the glitz and glamour of the industry which has us the consumers under the impression that there can be no wrong in the industry, but this flamboyancy often distracts from the underlying issues within the industry.
Statistics have show that people in the fashion industry are 25% more likely to experience mental illness, due to its fast-paced, demand for the highest standards and heavily anticipated nature.
Because of this, consumers are also exposed to a constant stream of marketing content telling them what they should be wearing and offering false promises of fulfilment in doing so. Failure to keep up with trends could result in Fashion FOMO (fear of missing out).
Let's highlight these brands showcasing mental health
During this time, we saw how brands were trying to and are still trying to centre mental illness at the forefront of their collections. In this article, I want to highlight fashion brands that have used their creativity to showcase mental health at the forefront of their collections.
The brand came about when the four co-founders Raf (his older brother), Noah Raf and friends Joshua Sitt and Mason Spector came up with the name "Madhappy." With the main focus on the brand's signature sans-serif logo and peace signs and phrases, Mad Happy eventually came into their signature garments which consisted of hoodies, sweatpants, T-shirts and hats.
Mad Happy (as suggested by the name) is a lifestyle brand that creates streetwear pieces, with the honest conversations around mental health at the forefront of the brand. They launched a Mental Health Awareness Month capsule collection of heritage crew necks and vintage tees this year.
The Mayfair Group
After years of struggling with her mental health, CEO Sam Abrahart launched The Mayfair Group in 2017 with the idea to create a brand that creates “uplifting content and a digital safe space”. The brand focuses on merchandise that makes the consumers feel good, but are a multifaceted service agency and e-commerce platform.
This year, they teamed up with The Mental Health Coalition and Active Minds, pledging to donate a minimum of $10,000 from the proceeds they receive from their Answers May Vary campaign. The collection features boldly printed text on the sweat sets and baseball caps reading “Thank You For Asking About My Mental Health.”
The Local Love Club
The female-founded and led with love leisurewear brand was founded by the celebrity stylist, Maeve Reilley. The message from this brand is, be kind to yourself and others. A message we should all be adopting when looking after yourself. The brand teamed up with the Kind Campaign, a non-profit organization, to bring awareness and healing to those bullied in school.
The graphic sweat set collection and accessories is adorned with colours associated with symbolising the light and dark colours, alongside messages such as “I Hope You Know” for those who are going through bullying in school. Throughout the collection, you can see uplifting messages all over the clothing lines as a way to uplift those in such situations.
Leret Leret is a luxury label specialized in a single garment, cashmere sweaters. The brand is designed in New York by siblings Andrea and Edouard Leret. The brand's sweaters are meant to give the effect of a gentle embrace, something to remind you that you are not alone, made to be worn, treasured and passed down through generations.
Recently, they partnered up with The LoveLand Foundation by donating up to 25% of their sales to help provide financial assistance to the Therapy Fund for Black women and girls seeking mental health support. Not only did they do this, but they also came out with a collection of cashmere crew necks that showcase features of uplifting graphics such as blue hands hugging to the sides of the waist of the wearer alongside with a blue heart on the chest of the crew neck. The blue colours used throughout the collection are in support of Mental Health Awareness Month in October.
As mental health issues are on the rise, it is nice to know that people still care for those who have no one to turn to. These brands mentioned (and many more) used their influence and creativity to create something that not only has the consumers in mind, but also they gave back to show their support for mental health awareness, especially in the fashion industry. As I send you off to look into these brands, I want you to know that you are cared for, and you are important.