A small clothing company in Penticton wants men to open up about their feelings.
Tyler Wade started his company SadBoys as a way to raise awareness about men’s mental health issues. Ten per cent of every SadBoy’s sale is donated to mental health initiatives.
The “Sad” in Sadboys is an acronym for stigmas around depression. Wade’s goal is to shatter the stigma surrounding men’s mental health issues and make it easier for men to reach out for help when they need it.
“This is my way of breaking the barrier and having guys talk about their feelings and normalizing that,” Wade said.
Global statistics show that men are far more likely to commit suicide than women in almost every country. This has often been attributed to the shame and guilt men have been conditioned to feel when they are struggling with mental health.
Men often suppress their feelings out of fear of being ridiculed, Wade explained.
“You’re going to be labelled as weak, so we feel like we can’t talk to anyone,” said Wade.
Wade thinks getting men to a place where they feel comfortable talking about their mental health is the first step to changing this.
“Breaking down that barrier is going to be huge,” he said.
Wade works at the Foundry’s Penticton branch, where he provides support services for youth. 10 per cent of the money Wade raises from SadBoy’s merchandise sales goes to the Foundry B.C., the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), and Defeat Depression.
The business owner is personally fighting his own battle with depression. He uses his passions for clothing and cars as an outlet.
“It takes my mind off things when I am working on new designs, filling orders, or just working in general,” said Wade.
Every piece of SadBoys clothing for the brand’s upcoming drop is up-cycled, meaning Wade finds pieces of used clothing he likes and then alters the clothing and brands them himself at his Penticton home. Stylistically, his pieces have clear influences from contemporary street-wear companies, like Supreme and BAPE.
Currently, SadBoy’s pieces can only be bought online via sadboys.ca. However, you may soon see SadBoys products appearing in local shops. Wade said he has been approached by many local businesses about carrying the line and Wade himself as approached Zumiez. The only thing holding SadBoy’s back from being in a mega-shop like Zumiez is a business license.
The 22-year-old is considering getting a business license, but not until he gets considerable recognition on his own.
“I want it to blow up first,” he said.
Wade is launching SadBoys’ second release, featuring 10 to 15 new pieces of clothing, on March 2.
For examples of SadBoys clothing check out the company’s instagram @sadboysca.
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