*TW: Brief mentions and references to depression, anxiety, and suicide*
For quite a few years now, many Millennials and Gen-Zers have been fighting for better access to mental health care and decreased stigma when speaking about mental health. Millennials and Gen-zers are prioritizing their mental health more than any generation before, and being a strong influence on society, and they have recently inspired various fashion, makeup, and skincare brands to join in this fight. Below are eight fabulous brands that are supporting mental health awareness.
#1. Rare Beauty
Rare Beauty is a makeup brand that was founded in February 2019 by world-renowned singer and actress Selena Gomez. It was established as a brand wanting to “break down unrealistic standards of perfection.” According to founder Selena Gomez, “I want us all to stop comparing ourselves to each other and just start embracing our own uniqueness.” As someone who has openly struggled with mental health in the past, Selena Gomez created Rare Beauty as “a safe, welcoming space in beauty–and beyond–that supports mental well-being across age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, cultural background, physical or mental ability, and perspective.”
In 2020, Rare Beauty decided to support their mission further by creating the Rare Impact Fund, a non-profit organization with the mission of raising $100 million for youth mental health. One percent of all Rare Beauty sales go towards the Rare Impact Fund, as well as other foundations that Rare Beauty feels inspired by, such as The Jed Foundation, Asian Mental Health Collective, The Trevor Project, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Black Minds Matter UK. Selena states that she launched the Rare Impact Fund because she hopes that “by sharing my own story and using my brand and platform to talk about and connect more people to resources that support their mental health, I can encourage others to get the help they need and bring more mental health services to educational settings.”
I’MMANY London is a fun and colorful jewelry brand founded in 2019 by Tina Xu, a self-taught jewelry maker inspired by her life experiences and the nature around her. They are a brand “with femininity and playfulness at heart” and “create truly unique pieces from a wide range of natural materials such as real flowers, leaves, gemstones, and freshwater pearls.” They are a proudly environmentally-friendly company and “source from local suppliers whenever and wherever [they] can.”
To add to their already impressive impact as a brand, giving back to the community is incredibly important to I’MMANY. Since its founding in 2019, they have donated to various organizations supporting issues like gender equality, mental health, and education. These organizations include Marie Curie, an organization that helps those living with a terminal illness; the Loveland Foundation, which provides financial support to women of color seeking mental health support; and Mind Charity, an organization that supports those suffering from various mental health disorders.
When the four founders of this clothing brand – Noah Raf, Peiman Raf, Joshua Sitt, and Mason Spector – founded MadHappy in 2017, they had one very simple goal: “creating conversation around mental health.” MadHappy is best known for having simple pieces that are recognizable and trendy. By having such simple yet iconic clothing designs, they have garnered the attention of millions around the world, leading their audience to learn more about what MadHappy stands for and why it is important.
On their website, MadHappy mentions, “Over the past five years, we’ve dedicated efforts towards making an impact in the mental health space. While we are not experts or medical professionals, we hope to serve as guides – raising awareness and accessibility so that people can better identify what they’re going through and seek help when needed. Mental health affects us all, and the sooner we view it as a normal part of our everyday lives, the sooner we can get people the support they need.”
In 2019, Madhappy launched The Local Optimist, an accessible, “free mental health resource that exists as a blog, newsletter, and across social media channels. Its mission is to create content and resources centered around mental health.” Within this content, topics in pop culture, politics, and science are all discussed. They also create “mental health-centric toolkits, written for our audience seeking tips and resources for how to deal with a variety of common life challenges.”
In 2021, MadHappy also released the MadHappy Podcast, hosted by two of their founders, Peiman Raf and Mason Spector, and features “a wide variety of guests who speak about their personal journeys and mental health experiences.” This podcast can be listened to on both Spotify and Apple.
#4. Happiness Project
Happiness Project is a viral clothing brand founded in 2017 by Jake Lavin after one of his classmates in high school unfortunately “lost their battle with mental illness.” Jake decided to create a clothing line with positive phrases imprinted onto them, such as “mental health matters,” “if you’re reading this, you are loved,” and “it’s okay to talk about your mental health.” Their mission is “to elevate happiness throughout the world, while supporting those impacted by mental health issues.” Thanks to Jake’s efforts with this brand, Happiness Project has donated over $100k to mental health organizations such as NAMI, The AFSP, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In particular, 15% of all profits from the Happiness Project go towards the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This organization was founded in 1987 and “gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education, and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.”
Maybelline New York is an iconic makeup brand founded in 1915 by Thomas Lyle Williams, who named the brand after his older sister Mabel. Maybelline stands for making makeup accessible and available to everyone – whether for different styles, skin tones, or looks, they want to be the brand you turn to. Though they are known for their affordable yet high-quality products, not many know about their commitment to mental health advocacy.
Maybelline Brave Together was launched in 2020 and is “a global initiative to support everyone experiencing anxiety and depression. In partnership with [a] community of mental health experts, [they’ve] created support tools to help navigate everything from spotting the signs to how to practice self-care to exploring resources.” On Maybelline’s website, they have put together a multitude of resources for those who may need them, such as the Crisis Text Line, and are advocating for practicing self-care. They provide tips for transforming negative thoughts into positive energy, getting some more breathing room, letting social media not affect your mindfulness, and setting clear intentions for yourself. They also have a link to free 24/7 support. All these resources, tips, and educational materials are available to all who can access Maybelline’s website.
#6. Dr. Brandt
Dr. Brandt is a revolutionary skincare brand founded in 2000 by dermatologist Frederic Brandt. When creating this brand, on top of using his medical knowledge, Dr. Brandt researched the treatment of leukemia, as well as the natural elements that fight against the growth of cancer, to find the basis of what his skincare line would be. For an added health-focused factor, Dr. Brandt only sells clean and safe products, with over 85% of ingredients being of natural origin, cruelty-free, vegan, GMO-free, and dermatologist tested.
Dr. Brandt’s mission is to help people be the best, most confident versions of themselves. Because of this mission, Dr. Brandt was inspired to create the Dr. Brandt Foundation, a foundation made in honor of Dr. Frederic Brandt, who unfortunately lost his battle with depression. Founded in 2015, the Dr. Brandt Foundation is “dedicated to supporting the mental health and well-being of diverse and undeserved communities and to bring awareness to mental health issues such as depression and suicide prevention.”
The Dr. Brandt Foundation is very passionate about helping and healing the youth, which is why they have partnered with Pet Partners, “the nation’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams providing animal-assisted interventions.” The Dr. Brandt Foundation, with Pet Partners, offers “certified animal-assisted therapy for at-risk youth in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Juvenile Detention Centers, and Foster Care/Group Homes.” They also have a #SayILoveYou Speaker Series, where they bring in celebrities and health professionals to discuss mental health while simultaneously creating a safe space for listeners.
#7. The Mayfair Group
The Mayfair Group, founded in 2017 by Sam Abrahart, is a fashion brand that has gone viral for its uplifting, trendy, and colorful styles. After “years of struggling with her mental health, [Sam] sought to create a more meaningful life through uplifting content and a digital safe space…[The Mayfair Group] believes apparel can be used as a catalyst for conversation and change. Our hope is through purposeful messaging and products, we can help people feel seen, heard, and understood for who they are.”
The Mayfair Group is best known for its crewneck sweaters that say “Empathy” along the front in different colored letters. By having more and more people purchase and wear their clothes, The Mayfair Group hopes to spread the message of positivity and love and hopes to inspire people to reach out for help if they need it.
In line with their passions for mental health advocacy, The Mayfair Group has partnered with MyWellBeing, “a mental health organization that matches you with the right therapist or coach while supporting behavioral health providers in their business and personal growth… With this partnership, we’re working together to help destigmatize mental health, provide education and curriculum on mental wellness, and help provide high-quality and diverse therapy options to marginalized communities.”
The Mayfair Group also works with other foundations, such as Active Minds, the Mental Health Coalition, Indigenous Women Rising, and Color of Change.
#8. Kate Spade
Kate Spade is a luxury brand, very well known for their vibrant designs and pops of color and for making classy and elegant looks seem young and fresh. Kate Spade was founded in 1993 by Kate and Andy Spade with the mission of creating handbags, accessories, and clothing that stand for “optimistic femininity.”
Kate Spade has always stood for empowering women, which is why the brand decided, in 2018, to invest in young women’s mental health. Especially after their founder, Kate Spade, lost her battle with depression in 2018, Kate Spade has “partnered with an incredibly accomplished group of women leaders in the mental health and empowerment spaces” to spread awareness and decrease the stigma surrounding mental health.
Kate Spade has worked with women such as actress Taraji P. Henson, Professor at Georgetown University Catherine Tinsley, and founder of Mama Glow & Mama Glow Foundation, Latham Thomas, to keep their “eyes focused on mental health at the heart of [their] approach.” Kate Spade has partnered with organizations like the Crisis Text Line, Find Your Anchor, Born This Way Foundation, and Black Girls Smile.
Kate Spade also provides the phone numbers for the Crisis Text and Call Lines for North America, the United Kingdom, and Japan on their website. To add to their investments, Kate Spade has committed to investing $5 million in “women’s empowerment and mental health resources globally” this year.
Featured image via Fashion Studies Journal.