Wear Your Label and Hudson’s Bay Are Raising Money for Mental Health Awareness With This New Shirt
“It’s ok not to be ok.”
Four years ago Wear Your Label was created by two young people who shared the same goal: End the stigma towards mental illness. At the time of the brand’s creation, co-founder Kayley Reed was battling an eating disorder, while co-founder Kyle MacNevin was living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ADHD. The two connected at a local mental health organization, bonding over their love of fashion and desire to break down the stigma that they had both experienced. From this, Wear Your Label was born and a line of products was developed, each adorned with phrases like the one above.
“I personally live with ADHD, depression and anxiety, which causes me to have consistent feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt,” says MacNevin. “I thought I was alone in feeling this way until I started sharing my story and using the medium of fashion to engage with so many others who are impacted by mental health.”
Business grew quickly as Wear Your Label was met with support from people all over the world. “It’s really wonderful to have so many people impacted by our brand and what we stand for,” says MacNevin.
This week, the company announced it would partner with Hudson’s Bay, launching an exclusive T-shirt to support mental health awareness. The initiative comes as part of HBC‘s The Future is Stigma-Free Campaign. In 2017 the company made a commitment to distribute $6 million to support mental health services by 2020. “It is remarkable and validating to have such a major retailer take a stand on an issue so important to so many people,” says MacNevin.
The unisex shirt goes on sale today at thebay.com for $33 and 100% of sales will go towards the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital. The donations will continue on social media, with Hudson’s Bay giving an additional $5 for every Instagram and Twitter post that uses #TheFutureIsStigmaFree.
“Stigma is often about a lack of understanding, not a lack of empathy. I think an effective measurement to reduce stigma is based on how many difficult conversations we as individuals are willing to have everyday,” says MacNevin. This shirt is the beginning of a bigger conversation. An attempt at normalizing something that 1 in 5 Canadians experience in any given year.
To help make a difference, purchase a shirt and get on social media to share a positive message and raise some money at the same time.
“This is just the beginning,” says MacNevin. “There is so much work to be done in the space of mental health and we are ready to take on new opportunities.”