I started this brand just as the UK went into the first Lockdown, Covid seemed like something out of a horror movie and I could sense a lot of fear and panic. No one knew what was going to happen or if we would survive.
Like many others, I was put on furlough and my world seemed to be on pause. I wasn't sure if or when I would be returning to work and what the future looked like.
Lots of my friends and family were able to work from home or still had to work so still had that sense of belonging or purpose. I like a lot of others who went on furlough just ended up feeling lost.
it was around this time I saw a lot more friends suffer from mental health issues. The unknowing fear of the virus, the lack of social interaction, daily news updates with death counts, and alarming stories of full hospital wards. The fact we could no longer see our friends or family or enjoy the small things in life like meeting up for a meal or going on holiday- the world was looking bleak.
I was unsure how I could help but I knew I had time on my hands and decided to come up with a plan.
I had been working in retail (mainly fashion based) for 20 years and I have a strong love for art and design so I decided to use my strengths to create a brand that could hopefully get people talking about mental health as well as give back to the charities which do great work and are sadly underfunded.
I managed to scrap some money together to start getting samples and trying out new designs until I managed to find some t-shirts, I was happy with which not only looked and felt good but also held a strong ethical message as well.
The goal was to leave as little impact on the planet as possible so sourcing sustainable cotton was key. And to find a printer who used eco-friendly vegan inks in the printing process. After a few months i managed to find some great supplier and printer.
however even with the best suppliers you will still always leave an impact on the world when creating, printing, posting an item so I decided as a brand every item we sell we will plant a tree. We currently have just under 2000 trees in Madagascar which will hopefully help future generations.
With T-shirt and a printers ticked off, it was now the fun part. branding and designing. I wanted the brand name to be directly linked to mental health but also not to obvious so after many bad ideas i came up with Mentis Statum which is Latin for Mental State. I felt this summed up my journey with mental health and didn't exclude anyone and was different enough it might start conversations around the name.
Next was to start reaching out to artists... but that's another blog for another time.