Tradesmen Dan and Ed met on a building site two years ago, instantly getting on like a house on fire. But in October of that same year, Dan lost one of his best mates to suicide, which made him realise just how bad mental health had become in Australia, particularly for men in the construction industry.
After a lot of brainstorming, Dan and Ed came up with an idea to help change the lives of young men, by producing their own line of quality workwear, but with a twist. After spending many days coming up with ideas, saving cash on the weekends and working day and night to get themselves going, Trademutt was born.
Having now sold 1500 units and increasing in popularity every day, the guys are now more motivated than ever to get their message out to the whole of Australia. Wearing the shirts themselves on a daily basis, they receive a lot of attention, which Ed says is the sole purpose of Trademutt shirts.
“[People] absolutely love rocking them because others ask them what they’re about and then start to open up.”
Even though there’s now so much awareness about the impacts of poor mental health, many are still battling depression, never getting the help they need. Dan and Ed believe this is due to a lack of education, which is why they’ve chosen to partner with the TIACS foundation.
“We’re empowering blokes to stand up and admit they’re struggling with mental health.”
The unmissable Trademutt shirts have “This Is A Conversation Starter” across the back, promoting the importance and normality of talking openly about mental health. The TIACS foundation provides education and counselling for those who want to take part in a few educational sessions and learn about how to look after their mental health properly.
“It’s about making sure you’re being the best version of yourself and being in the moment, rather than worrying about the past or the future,” says Ed.
Men are notoriously known for shying away from serious topics and talking about their feelings, however Dan and Ed believe keeping conversations light is the best way to get someone to open up. When it comes to starting the conversation, Dan says it’s important to start casually.
“You really just have to come at it from a compassionate and empathetic point of view. I think one of the biggest things to remember is just because you’re ready to talk, it doesn’t mean someone who’s struggling is.”
Dan and Ed recently went down to the Australian Industry Trade College to speak to grade 10, 11, and 12 school apprentices, and explain to them why chatting about and understanding mental health is so important.
“We explain to the kids that we never had these sorts of conversations at school, and that even know the information may not be for them right now, some of these concepts and the fact the mental health exists can help to plant the seed for further understanding when they’re older and have to deal with difficult situations,” says Dan.
The guys are looking for sponsors to get on board and help them to get out and about to make an impact on more people, and help spread their message by getting as many shirts on peoples’ backs as possible.
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