As shown in figures 1,2 and 3, the dramatic black and white photos are accompanied by the striking text “Mental illness in young people. Thinking nothing can be done is utter ****”. The language, brand promises and photography all communicate the weight of the issue, but without using the traditional and cliche health research goals of ‘cures’ and ‘beating it’.The tone of voice and image is quite shocking, thus, grabbing the attention of the public.
This works in favour of the charity and is something that future campaigns might consider.Wear Your Label is a company that designs and sell a wide range of clothing that has quotes or designs on that aim to start conversations around mental health. The wording on the clothing is subtle and simple design to create a discussion rather than shoving it in people faces. These phrases include the likes of ‘sad but rad’ and ‘it’s okay not to be okay’. It aims to paint a more realistic view of mental health. The company was co-founded by university graduates Kaley Reed and Kyle MacNevin alongside Lance Blakney and Dee Wilkie.
MacNevin and Reed met while studying at university through a youth mental health outreach initiative. This is when they came to the conclusion that young people need to open up about their mental health. Reed noticed that many campaigns on mental illness try to portray people as ‘normal’, but she wanted to use the company as a way to show the high and low experiences with mental illness. Reed wanted to highlight that it’s not going to be a struggle and that sometimes you need that.
Blakney added that campaigns tend to tone down the issue or glamorise it and emphasised that this is not the way to do it. Wear Your Label hope their message help prevent tragedies like recent cases of students who take their own lives. Many of whom did not talk openly about their struggles. Ultimately, the co-founders say they hope to put themselves out of business by getting rid of the negative stigma entirely.Wear Your Label is constantly expanding, receiving extremely positive and successful reviews. A customer who bought a handful of the charities t-shirts spoke out saying that the clothing helped By buying and wearing the clothing, many people have spoken out about there illness and had conversations that they wouldn’t have had before their purchases.
Fathers have used these t-shirts to start conversations with their children about the issues. The company’s ‘I define me’ message has reached out to many people helping them to understand that their illness is not their identity.