0 comments / Posted on by Holly Turnbull

Strong pins are here!

Introducing 'Strong' - a brand new collection including Anxious AF, Anxiete, Some Days are Harder than Others, Tired but Still Kicking Ass, Hugs n Drugs, Strong AF and Made it Out of Bed.

These pins are all about resilience - dedicated to raising awareness of, and breaking the stigma associated with all kinds of circumstances that require strength, including but not limited to disability, mental health problems and chronic conditions.  

Launching on 28th September 2018, our Strong pins are here in time to highlight World Mental Health day on 10th October, and when you shop Strong, 5% of all sales throughout October will be donated to Mind, the mental health charity. 

We’ve had super positive feedback from early previews and the general consensus (we asked Instagram and bloggers) is that the pins indicate it’s okay to talk about mental health; being a survivor is something to be proud of; people want to open up the conversation and like the opportunity to wear pins which spell out who they are when they can’t quite say it themselves. In other words, exactly what we were hoping for.

In designing this collection with amazing artist Cat Lobo, we've worked with our wonderful friend, activist and blogger, Sarah Lex, who shares her first hand experience and thoughts on mental health, chronic illness and disability at www.fromsarahlex.com. She was the inspiration behind the cute but impactful Hugs n Drugs pin, and is one of the collection's ambassadors thanks to her totally fierce approach to ~owning~ her disability - and she plans to rock every pin in the collection. 

She says, "Raising awareness and opening up conversations on mental health, disability and chronic illnesses is extremely important to me. I am very proud to be disabled, even though living with chronic pain is exhausting and agonising. My disability defines me, it shapes everything I am and do, and that is not something I am ashamed of.

I wouldn’t be me without my impairments. For me, this collection highlights the struggles a lot of us face and does so in a way that transgresses various conditions and shines a light on topics that are often taboo. Hugs n Drugs came about because quite simply, they’re my main coping mechanisms. I couldn’t function without my medication and I certainly couldn’t get by alone. 

These pins really resonate with me and it’s awesome to see a collection focusing on health."

Kitty Cowell's on board as an ambassador too. She's a blogger, stylist, all-round creative good egg and the brains behind the LuKCy project, helping others tell their stories about overcoming challenges that other people can't see; creating their own luck. Kitty created hers by refusing to let her dyslexia and depression be a disadvantage, and she feels strongly about highlighting health issues. She says, "It's important to me to promote awareness, particularly around problems that are usually hidden, like mental health and chronic illness, to raise money for charity. Especially with Mac Miller's recent passing, I also really want to highlight mental health issues in the music industry."

Meanwhile our third ambassador Kimberley, also known as The Colour Chronicles, has been open about her struggles with BPD and the cognitive behavioural therapy she's been having as a result. She knows it's tough to always be upfront in asking for help and talking about mental health, and says the pins are a good way to start a conversation that might help break a stigma - without being in-your-face. 

She says, "One of the most helpful things for me to cope with mental illness is talking about it and being open when I'm struggling, which admittedly took me a while. I love the Strong collection because not only are the pins so cute, but they normalise that it's okay to talk and be open about needing help. Insofar as you see people with physical illnesses such as diabetes with wristbands to let others who may be unaware know if they need help, the Strong pins are an alternative to that, showing more people struggle with these things than we think. The more we talk, the easier the conversation will become and hopefully the better the mental health services will get."

Our ambassadors are on board to keep spreading positivity around the idea that it's good to talk. We're really excited and proud to share these pins and to donate to Mind, to help their work to ensure everyone experiencing mental health problems gets support and respect.

It goes without saying that anyone who's facing a struggle, whether it's visible or not, is so much more than their circumstance - and these pins aren't for everyone. But if you are struggling to say the words, to ask for help, want to start the tough conversations or take ownership of a label with traditionally negative connotations, we think these pins might help. 

To learn more about Mind, the mental health charity, visit their website here

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