New Brunswick

Fredericton clothing line aims to reduce stigma of mental health

Two young Fredericton entrepreneurs have turned their own struggles with mental illness into a successful clothing line business, called Wear Your Label.

Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin launched Wear Your Label business after struggling with their own issues

Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin, of Fredericton, have turned their their own struggles with mental illness into a successful clothing line called Wear Your Label. 1:59

Two young Fredericton entrepreneurs have turned their own struggles with mental illness into a successful clothing line business, called Wear Your Label.

Kayley Reed, 21, and Kyle MacNevin, 23, contend mental health labels, such as anxious, or depressed, are just descriptors of someone's mental health, and nothing to be ashamed of.

They say one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime and that mental health issues should be treated the same as physical health.

The Wear Your Label clothing line slogans aim to spark conversations about mental health and reduce the stigma of mental health labels. (CBC)
"If you break your arm, you get a cast and it's a symbol to the community and the world around you that you broke your arm, but you're healing," said MacNevin. "There's no real cast for mental illness."

So the pair started the Wear Your Label brand a year ago to serve as a cast of sorts in hopes of sparking conversations to create awareness and reduce the stigma.

Their T-shirts, tank tops and sweatshirts carry messages, such as "Sad But Rad," "It's Okay To Not Be Okay," and "Self-care Isn't Selfish."

And the care labels don't just tell people how to take care of the clothing, they also tell people how to take care of themselves.

"40% Stretch, Breathe, Meditate. 30% Sip Tea & Eat Well. 15% Feel Your Feet, Be Present. 10% Laugh Out Loud. 5% Listen To An Awesome Song."

Hope to put themselves out of business

Reed and MacNevin, who donate 10 per cent of profits to mental health initiatives, say they've seen a spike in orders from around the world since their business was featured by People Magazine and Buzzfeed.com last month.

They say they also get emails every day from people who have purchased their clothing.

"Some of our favourite stories to share are of a father who has bought our product to help create a conversation with his daughter, who he knows is struggling with self-esteem issues," said Reed.

The business partners say they plan on moving into retail, but only with a store that will champion their message.

Ultimately, they say they hope to put themselves out of business by making the discussion about mental health an everyday topic.

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