Five Brands Who Have Employed A Mental Health Strategy That You Should Know About
In a world in which technology is driving feelings of isolation and disconnection, more people are experiencing mental health issues. With the growing onset of social media burnout and anxiety, consumers’ collective concerns around mental health and wellbeing are driving new directions in beauty, wellness and fashion that are focused on phygital rehabilitation. At the beginning of 2020, the wellness section was booming, powered by the rise in physical activity and mindfulness, which were both estimated to be valued at £3.6 trillion. In the aftermath of Covid, both sectors have been forced to rethink not only their directions but the brand-customer relationship entirely. We investigate the brands who are responsible for forging the conversations around mental health and its awareness and those who are adapting a wellness strategy to a post-pandemic world.
Catching Feels - Monki
Social media’s damaging impact on young people continues to be a hot topic and Monki was one of the first brands to highlight the effects of social media on our mental health. The youth-focused fashion brand partnered with Mental Health Europe to launch a campaign titled ‘All The Feels’ in 2018. The campaign aimed to draw attention to the positive and negative sides of social media and featured video interviews with three social media influencers who double as mental health advocates. The brand also released a capsule collection of nine items that encourage women to express their emotions on their clothing. As part of the ongoing campaign, last year the brand released ‘Embrace The Feels’, which in a similar vain explored mental health and its impact on daily life.
Influence For Good - Selena Gomez Rare Beauty
Whether you grew up with the Disney generation or not, you can’t deny the influence of Gomez. As one of Instagram’s most-followed accounts, the star has been hugely vocal about her struggles with recovery and mental health. Launching Rare Beauty cosmetics this year, in tandem the star announced the Rare Impact Fund, an initiative pledging to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to provide access to mental health services in underserved communities. Moving forward, one percent of sales from every Rare Beauty product, in addition to funds raised by partners, will be dedicated to the Rare Impact Fund in an effort to "help address the gaps in mental health services for underserved communities". The fund aims to become one of the largest known organizations supporting mental health from a corporate entity.
No Bulls**** Marketing & Inclusivity - Billie
It’s not always just what you do, but how you say it, and that couldn’t be more true than for the start-up shaving brand Billie. Billie has become known for its bold graphics, 90s-throwback branding and a no sh**ts given approach to a TOV that hits back against traditional notions of female beauty and shaving. Its campaigns often makes a broader statement on how women are portrayed in the razor category and aim to normalise female body hair. In a quest to help destigmatise beauty standards, the company has also launched a microsite to crowdsource photos from women of their body hair, with plans to donate free images to the stock photo site Unsplash has part of its normalisation campaign. Last year, the brand celebrated Movember in typical Billie fashion by celebrating female facial hair. While Billie's main demographic is women, the brand took advantage of the month to help fundraise for the men's health organization the Movember Foundation, while also spreading the message that “women have moustaches too".
The Therapy Rebrand - Hims
Young men are still facing taboos when it comes to masculinity and their mental health, with feelings of embarrassment and also the belief that professional help is too expensive being two of the main blockers that prevent men from seeking help. However, Hims wants to change all that. A leading brand that is stepping up to make the therapy sector more accessible for all, just this year the startup consumer health brand started providing out-of-pocket physician services online and most recently launched group therapy services. As mental health disorders surge, Him’ push into mental health services is just one example of the way in which the outdated therapy sector is using digital tools to diversify and address the vulnerabilities of the next generation.
Socially Distanced Intimacy - H&M Lab’s Wearable Love Jacket
As the world experiences a crisis of closeness amid the pandemic, conversations around mental health and intimacy have been put into a spotlight. Looking for solutions via tech and design, H&M is just one brand who are innovating to find solutions in the need for greater emotional intimacy. In response to Covid-19’s social distancing measures, H&M Lab teamed up with the wearable tech start-up Boltware to ideate its ‘Wearable Love’ denim jacket. The concept of the jacket is that it has flexible sensors built into the shoulders, which give the wearer the sensation of being hugged when the sensors are activated. These sensors can be connected to an app via Bluetooth, allowing users to transfer signals to one another in order to trigger the feeling of touch. The brand stated that ‘With wearable love, you can send and receive touches just as easily as messages’.