In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s time to reflect on the progress we’ve made as a society to break the stigma surrounding mental health.
As more individuals—including prominent figures like celebrities and influencers—openly share their personal experiences with mental health challenges, the conversation has become increasingly destigmatized.
This rise of mental health apparel in recent years has also provided more momentum to the movement.Today, we’ll examine the growing popularity of mental health apparel, especially among younger generations.
We’ll also examine its possibilities for encouraging mental health dialogue, as well as strategies for making these items even more successful at raising awareness.
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The Rise of Mental Health Apparel
In recent years, there’s been a notable increase in the sale of apparel specifically tailored to mental health topics.
This surge can be attributed to both a growing movement to actively engage in conversations that challenge societal stigmas, and the desire to promote mental health and overall wellness. In fact, in 2021 McKinsey estimated the global wellness market had reached over $1.5 trillion, with annual growth between 5-10%.
It seems that younger generations, in particular, are driving this trend. In 2022, around 70% of millennial and Gen Z consumers surveyed in the US and the UK indicated that they were likely to buy products focused on mental health and wellness.
The rise of mental health apparel has also been closely linked to the growing number of celebrities and influencers who openly discuss their struggles with mental health.
By sharing their experiences, these public figures have helped destigmatize and even normalize conversations around mental health challenges, further encouraging their fans and followers to join the movement.
Given younger generations’ heightened exposure to social media and celebrity influence, clothing featuring supportive messages, symbols, and designs has also emerged as a popular way to express solidarity in promoting mental health.
The Potential Benefits of Mental Health Apparel
Mental health apparel can help raise awareness and destigmatize mental health issues by:
Wearing mental health-themed clothing can act as a conversation starter, prompting discussions about personal challenges and experiences.
By openly displaying supportive messages and designs, individuals invite others to engage in meaningful dialogue to foster understanding and empathy.
Mental health apparel also allows individuals to creatively share their stories and openly express their emotions and experiences.
Fostering a Sense of Community
By wearing mental health apparel, individuals signal both their commitment to breaking the stigma and their support for those affected by mental health challenges.
This shared mission can help create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among those who may otherwise feel isolated or misunderstood.
Raising Awareness and Funds
Another upside of mental health apparel is that it often supports charitable initiatives and non-profit organizations dedicated to providing mental health resources and services.
Consumers can help raise funds and increase visibility for these causes by purchasing and wearing these products.
Strategies for Success
Creating effective and impactful mental health apparel requires thoughtful planning and execution. But if done right, the benefits can be enormous.
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For example, Mental Health America’s IDONTMIND campaign has raised over $500,000 for mental health organizations since launching in 2017.
As one of our incredible customers, IDONTMIND has continuously used custom apparel that promotes mental health awareness to further its cause.
Read more about our collaboration in our interview with Eddie, Co-Founder of IDONTMIND.
Here are some specific strategies your brand can also adopt for success:
Partner with Mental Health Organizations
Collaborating with reputable mental health organizations or advocacy groups can ensure that your messaging is accurate, sensitive, and supportive. These partnerships also lend credibility to your brand and further demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact on mental health awareness.
Use Inclusive or Identifiable Messaging
Adopt inclusive or identifiable language and imagery to ensure your apparel appeals to a diverse audience. For instance, IDONTMIND intentionally used the phrase “I Don’t Mind” on their shirts to prompt questions and conversations.
Using thoughtful messaging ensures that products both resonate with a broad range of individuals and open the door for deeper conversations about mental health.
Durable, high-quality products are more likely to be well-received by consumers. By investing in better production practices, you demonstrate your business’ commitment to its customers and community.
Leverage Social Media and Your Local Community
Use social media platforms to showcase your mental health apparel, share stories, and engage with your customers. You can also partner with other local organizations and community members to amplify your message and reach a wider audience.
Measure Impact and Gather Feedback
Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your mental health apparel by gathering feedback from customers and tracking sales data.
This information can help you refine your products, messaging, and marketing strategies to maximize your impact on promoting mental health awareness.
Choose the Right Manufacturing Partner
Collaborate with a reliable manufacturing partner, such as Scrappy Apparel, to ensure high-quality products and timely delivery. This frees up time for you to focus on promoting awareness and supporting mental health initiatives.
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Start a Movement with Custom Apparel
As demonstrated through the success of the IDONTMIND campaign, custom apparel has emerged as a powerful tool in breaking the stigma and changing the conversation around mental health.
By encouraging open dialogue, promoting self-expression, and fostering a sense of community, clothing can play a huge part in breaking down barriers and destigmatizing mental health challenges.
Breaking the stigma around mental health is a powerful movement, and your brand can be part of this change. But to create impactful mental health apparel, you’ll need a reliable and experienced manufacturing partner.
That’s where Scrappy Apparel comes into play. We’re dedicated to helping your business create luxury-level clothing with our turnkey and high-volume apparel solutions. We even offer a private labeling program so you can take true ownership of the apparel with your brand name and logo on it.
Ready to Work With Scrappy Apparel to Amplify Your Message?
Let’s work together to create impactful apparel and make a positive change in the world, one garment at a time!