There are a lot of words you could use to describe Kayley Reed—fashion designer, Canadian, change agent, CEO. She also represents one in five Canadians living with mental illness.
They’re all labels she wears proudly.
In fact, it was her own battle with depression and an eating disorder that led her and her partner, Kyle MacNevin, to start Wear Your Label, a revolutionary clothing line that aims to raise awareness by putting mental health labels directly on its clothing. Honest statements like “Sad but rad” and “It’s okay to not be okay” give a voice to those who haven’t yet found theirs and spark conversations.
“It means so much more than physically wearing your label on your shirt,” says Reed. “It means to take ownership over whatever struggle you’re going through and to really live that.”
Though the clothing line’s success is undeniable (most styles are currently on back order), Reed’s commitment to eliminating the stigma around mental illness goes beyond putting slogans on T-shirts. She currently sits on the Youth Advisory Council for ACCESS Canada, a $25-million initiative to improve mental-health services across the country, and she was a facilitator at the student-run mental-health summit “Unleash the Noise!” last year.
So, yeah, we’re going to go ahead and add another label to our Kayley Reed list: inspiration.
Find out more about Reed’s story and what else she hopes to accomplish in the video above.