A collection of hoodies, T-shirts and sweaters is released on World Mental Health Day.
“Let what’s inside out.” That is the hashtag on Topshop’s new charity collection, titled Care Sewn In. Unveiled on Thursday to coincide with World Mental Health Day, the British high street retailer has teamed up with CALM — the Campaign Against Living Miserable — to bring awareness to and stimulate discussions of, and normalise talking about mental health.
The 13-piece collection of everyday essentials — think cotton T-shirts, hoodies and sweaters —are embroidered with cutesy illustrations depicting in cartoon form exactly what it is to listen. One T-shirt features a lipstick-tinted mouth and an ear, turned into walking, talking characters, while a cropped sweatshirt is emblazoned with ‘Express Yourself’, or ‘Fragile’.
Each garment is equipped with a special care label sewn in. Playing on the meaning of what a care label is, instead of displaying laundry instructions, the tags instead state captions such as, ‘Don’t handle problems on your own’, ‘Talk to a mate to iron them out’, and ‘Completely spun out? Call CALM.’ Each tag includes the CALM webchat and anonymous — a freephone number, to make mental health available and accessible to everyone. Crucially, £5 from every garment sold will go directly to fund CALM’s helpline and web chat.
Topshop has been working with the charity since 2011, creating colourful campaigns and events, but this is the first time the partnership has made its way onto garments. It’s arguably a much more effective means of getting the message across than a one day, in-store event; those struggling might just realise help is hanging in their closet during a time of need.
Stitching such messages into clothing, quite literally, also normalises conversations surrounding mental health. While asking for help may seem daunting, the playful illustrations and slogans are also designed to provoke real-life conversation on such issues — having a friend ask about your sweater is undeniably a less scary way to broach such conversations.
“By partnering with CALM, we hope to empower young individuals to self-care, change the conversation around mental health and encourage peer-to-peer support so that no-one suffers alone,” says Topshop’s brand communications director Jason Griffiths. “We hope to raise awareness and provide solutions to even more young people,” says Simon Gunning, the CEO of CALM.
The collection releases online and in select stores on October 10. Keep scrolling for our favourite picks.
Heart T-shirt, £16
Express Yourself sweatshirt, £22
Talk T-shirt, £19
Talk & Listen T-shirt, £16
Fragile T-shirt, £16