INTERVIEW: Highlight Nation Talk Mental Health And Fashion With Clothing Brand In Music We Trust

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Mental health is a big topic right now. Recent findings show that two thirds of Britons are said to have experienced mental health problems at some stage or other in their lives. Given the rising number of young sufferers, it’s tempting to attribute the problem to social media or substance abuse, without necessarily addressing some of the deeper, root causes like body shaming or stress in the workplace.

Today’s generation (I myself included) face a tough time in speaking up about their problems, but, thanks to government support and help from big charities, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. One such charity, Mind, are instrumental in their efforts at tackling the issue, providing support across the board on numerous levels.

We’re fortunate enough to currently be talking with a clothing brand that donates 50% of its profits to that very charity. In Music We Trust is no run-of-the-mill fashion start-up, but rather, a business with clear goals that’s going places.

Aiden Hatfield, the brand’s founder, was kind enough to let us in on their story:

Who are In Music We Trust?

In Music We Trust (imwtclothing LTD) is the name of my clothing brand.

It’s a brand that aims to raise awareness and highlight the support available for those suffering with mental health issues, especially depression. We do this by donating 50% of our profits to the Mind charity.

Music helps so many people deal with their everyday struggles, as well as any larger issues they may be facing. Some of us play music, some go to gigs; others even sing in the shower. Whichever method, people put their trust in music and use it as a way of strengthening their mental state.

How long have you been established?

The brand originally started in March 2015. Now two years in the running, it still feels very young, and we’ve a lot of growing to do.

How did you come to working in conjunction with Mind?

I originally worked with a charity called Depression Alliance. I always wanted to start a clothing brand, but I didn’t want it to be entirely egotistical. I wanted to do it for a strong reason. I chose Depression Alliance because the link between music and depression can often be very strong.

The charity eventually got taken over. Mind came along and decided they liked the look of the support programme that Depression Alliance had set up, and eventually took over.

For a while, I was unsure as to whether I would support Mind or move on to another charity that dealt solely with depression sufferers – since that’s where my heart lies. But then I did my research…After countless phone calls and emails to Mind I eventually made up my… erm…mind!

What challenges have you faced in growing as a business?

I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced as a brand is working autonomously. I design the T-shirts; run our social media platforms; package and ship the orders; make the donations and do the accountancy work. This is all alongside running a recording studio and managing my own band.

I usually find it difficult to not be the one in control of everything. I regularly take on too many tasks. That being said, it keeps me busy and keeps me out of trouble, so I can’t complain.

What are the biggest problems facing mental health, right now?

Well, the fact that people only seem care when a celebrity’s affected isn’t good.

It’s always very sad when a celebrity ends their own life or is struggling with an issue, but these aren’t the only people suffering.It’s always important for these issues to be highlighted, but the death of a celebrity shouldn’t be the only reason for people to take notice.

To what end do your company work to solve such issues?

One of the reasons I initially started the company was to make people take notice. I want people to care, not only about the celebrity that’s just died, but also the person sitting next to them at work.

At this moment in time, all we can do as a company is encourage people to talk to each other. If you think someone has issue, ask them if they’re okay. Equally, if you’re struggling with an issue, go and talk to someone.

If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone close to you, get in touch with the people at Mind. They’re there for a reason.

What are the key messages underpinning your garments?

The key message underpinning our garments is that we can always trust in music. We don’t all listen to the same artists, but I believe most of us experience a similar feeling when we tune into our favourite artists.

Our latest design contains the slogan Music Is My Medicine. This rings very true for me, and I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Which items are your biggest sellers?

Our biggest seller is our beanie hats. I would have never expected this to be the case. I think the beanies are amazing, it’s just nice to know that there are so many people out there who agree.

Which other charities would you like to work closely with?

I feel like this is a difficult question for me at this point in time. I obviously aim to support those that are dealing with depression, more than anything else. That being said, depression is linked to so many other things: bereavement, physical illness, domestic abuse, even homelessness.

I’ve recently been made aware of a charity called Kirkwood Hospice. The people behind it are amazing, working hard to support the families who have lost or are expecting to lose a family member.

If I were to pick another area to support, it would have to be helping people with child-access complications. This is something I’ve been dealing with for the past nine years.

Where is your largest market, geographically?

Since we’re based in the UK, I do most of my promotion here. So that tends to be our biggest market. But, because of the power of social media, we’ve recently been sending items to Spain, Sweden, Germany, and even California and other American States. Those overseas orders mean so much!

How do you see the company brand evolving? Any celebrity endorsements on the cards?

We’ve not currently got any active endorsements. We get approached by a lot of bands that claim to support what we do. However, we don’t usually send out free clothing, as it means we receive no donations in return.

You’d be surprised by how many bands suddenly lose interest when they find out that a charity-based clothing brand won’t send them freebies.

What does the future look like for In Music We Trust?

We recently launched our newest product. The Music Is My Medicine T-shirt has only been available for a couple of weeks. I’m currently planning an advertising campaign to raise awareness for the brand, charity and the issues we support.

Aside from new products, I’m planning on having my studio, and the artists connected to it, working closely with the clothing brand. It’s still in its early stages, but I feel strongly about this direction we’re moving in.

Show your support by making a purchase from the In Music We Trust WEBSITE.

You can also follow them on Twitter by CLICKING HERE.

If you need assistance with alcohol addiction, Rehab 4 Addiction is a free helpline and information service for people suffering from addiction and mental health issues.

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