Meet 3 Streetwear Brands Advocating for Mental Health

The fashion industry has long been epitomized by appearances, whether it’s the looks of a garment or the face and body of a model. Modern streetwear brands are seeking to shed these frivolous connotations (and connect with contemporary society) by creating clothing that advocates for mental health awareness.

Bashea Williams, a Maryland-based social worker, says that open mental health conversations on social media are the impetus behind this recent trend.

“More information is out there. More knowledge is out there. More people are taking a liking to it,” he said. “I think people are tired of seeing people suffering and looking for a sense of online community and relation.”

Below are some brands that are steering the mental health conversation in the right direction.

Maison de Choup

In 2014, George David Hodgson started a small T-shirt company inspired by his struggles with anxiety and OCD. That company, Maison de Choup, has garnered a following for its persuasive messaging. Pieces include a T-shirt reading “Sometimes I’m okay, sometimes I’m not” and a tee with black and white messaging reading “Warrior” plastered over “Not warrior” text. The clean, minimalist designs come in neutral colors and feature modern fonts that allow the words to be the focal point.

Hodgson, who first experienced mental illness in high school, ensures that his clothing does more than just spread the word: It gives back. Maison de Choup donates some of its proceeds to Young Minds—a U.K.-based organization that helps youth suffering from mental health issues—and supports Heads Together, a U.K. initiative leading mental health conversations.


D.R.E.A.M., which stands for Dreams Rule Everything Around Me, was created with the dream of de-stigmatizing mental illness. The Los Angeles-based unisex streetwear company offers T-shirts, sweats and skateboard decks with edgy designs. Pieces include Kanji glyphs that translate to phrases like “Wake from Death and Return to Life,” and ‘The Ground Becomes Solid After Heavy Rain.” Many products depict darker designs, like gravestones and skulls, while others feature colorful sunsets topped with the word “Dreams” for a decidedly more optimistic vibe.

There’s something for everyone in the collection, and 15 percent to 20 percent of proceeds from each product goes to a good cause. D.R.E.A.M. partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). In 2018, the company raised more than $18,000 for these organizations, and it plans on growing that amount. As the site says, “Our focus is simple, we want the world never to stop dreaming.”

Boys Get Sad Too

There’s a ubiquitous stigma around men expressing their emotions, and Boys Get Sad Too seeks to eradicate that mentality. They’re doing it with a line of apparel and accessories that gives back to the U.K.’s mental health community.

T-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps and even stickers carry the brand’s moniker in upper-case block letters. They come in vibrant colors like yellow, coral, pink and bright blue, along with classic black. But the messaging is stronger than the products themselves.

Boys Get Sad Too’s Instagram account has quotes about pushing forward during tough times and statistics about men’s suicide rates and mental health. The brand’s bio even informs us that in the U.K., 84 men die by suicide each week. The company also donates 20 percent of its proceeds to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a U.K.-based nonprofit providing support for men impacted by suicide.

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