A Clothing Line Tackling The Stigma Of Mental Health.

‘Wear Your Label’ is clothing line based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The brand is successfully helping to remove the stigma around mental health, design after design. The label use fashion as a means to bring to issues of depression and anxiety to the forefront of conversation.

Pictured: 'Role Models' photographed in Wear Your Label apparel.
Pictured: ‘Role Models’ photographed in Wear Your Label apparel.

There has been ongoing conversation about the heightened statistics of mental health. According to The Telegraph, new research suggests that “Painters, musicians, writers and dancers are 25 per cent more likely to carry the gene variants, than their non-creative peers”. FIB searched deeper into this statistic, and found this inspiring clothing line that is really tapping in to the power of fashion.

Clothing is seen everywhere, so why not use this to societies advantage? This is exactly what co-founders Kyle MacNevin and Kayley Reed have done, and are continuing to do. Both individuals had experienced some form of mental illness, and is a subject that’s very close to their hearts. This contributing factor motivates the brand, in order to prompt a change within society.

The Founders of Wear Your Label
The Founders of Wear Your Label

The brand’s Instagram reads, “We live in a world where if you break your arm, everyone runs to sign your cast. But if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way”.

The ‘Summer 2016’ collection is made up of T-Shirts, Singlets, and Tank’s in various colours and designs. Screen printed statements such as “self-care isn’t selfish” and “you are enough” are positioned directly in the centre of these tops.

This collection is completely unisex, meaning there are no “Men’s/Woman’s” categories on the website. This is addressed in a statement written on the online store, “Most online stores have easy-to-navigate “Guys/Girls” sections. What’s not so easy, is when you don’t fit into societal gender norms. That’s why we decided to remove these sections from our store”.

Another unique element to these simple designs is inclusion of ‘self-care’ labels. Care labels, included on the inside of the garment, state how the wearer can look after themselves, rather than the garments. Psychologists have created these ‘self-care’ labels and attached them to the inside seam of each garment, in a clever way to promote mental health.

Wear Your Label- Self Care Tag
Wear Your Label- Self Care Tag

The concept of “removing the stigma around mental health” is not only present in the clothing designs, but also in aspects of the business operations. Reed, spoke about the protocol when hiring their models in an interview with BuzzFeed, “we put out casting call for models saying that there was no height requirement, no sample measurement restrictions, none of that. We only asked people to send us pictures of them smiling and to share their own story with mental health”. To add to this, ‘Wear Your Label’ has a zero Photoshop policy, accepting their models as they are.

'Role Models' photographed in Wear Your Label
‘Role Models’ photographed in Wear Your Label

With a concept that is deeper than just fashion, it is refreshing to see a modern apparel company that is producing ethical clothing for a good cause. Wear Your Label partners with local and national organisations, in order to further expand their reach. Ten percent of all profits made goes to making a bigger impact on society, you can learn more about this and help make a difference on their website.