Mental illness is difficult to talk about. Even if one in five people suffer from some kind of mental illness, the stigma around mental health is still alive and well. Things like anxiety and depression often go untreated because people are too ashamed to seek help. This is what Kyle MacNevin and Kayley Reed are aiming to change with their new fashion brand, Wear Your Label.
MacNevin and Reed, both in their early twenties, were inspired by their own personal experiences with mental illness when they decided to create their brand. With a slogan like “ending the stigma (in style)”, it’s pretty clear what their goal is. Their clothing line is an attempt to start an open and honest conversation about mental health and give back to relevant organizations while still being cute and stylish.
The tees, sweatshirts and tanks of Wear Your Label are emblazoned with empowering and positive messages, like “stressed but well dressed”, “self-care isn’t selfish”, “your story isn’t over”, “sad but rad” and “It’s okay not to be okay”. According to their website, their threads are designed “with love, by someone that might be struggling with the same things you are”.
They really pay attention to all the details, like the tags, for example. Along with the care instructions for the garment, you will find little tips on how to take care of yourself, like “laugh out loud” and “listen to an awesome song”. But those are not just cutsey phrases to make you feel better. The tags were written by a psychologists, and they are things that are proven to increase dopamine levels withing a 20-minute period. So if you are having a really bad time, you can take a peek at your tag and follow the advice, such as “stretch and meditate” or “feel your feet and be present”.
If all of that wasn’t enough to make you want to “Wear Your Label”, the brand is actually making an impact and giving back as well. Each sale helps support mental health initiatives around the world, since the company is donating 10% of their profits to several organizations. The co-founders also give talks and workshops to reach out to other people, share their own story with mental illness and educate a larger audience.
And because they practice what they preach, their store is not divided in men/women categories. Reed and MacNevin know that transgender and genderqueer youth are more likely to experiment mental health issues, so they went out of their way to avoid alienating them and trying to fit all their customers into two little boxes. Their website reads “if you like a style, wear it with pride”, no matter your gender.
This is still a very young company, but they managed to get our attention and support. Cute clothes for a good cause, what’s not to love?