You Are Collective started as a way to create change and make a difference. We (Michael and Rebecca) had been living through our own separate mental health journey's and noticed an immense lack of support and understanding.
The idea that people were waiting months for care sounded imaginable, until we waited more than a month and a half to receive our first covered counseling appointment. The idea that people were dying by suicide because they were so ashamed and depressed and unable to get help. Until we ended up in the hospital not caring if there would be a next day.
So we thought about it. And talked about it. And shared it with some people. And got excited about making an impact and sharing our stories.
This passion project quickly demanded our full-time attention and we started brainstorming ways we could work or donate or support people to get the help they needed. To not feel hidden behind a stigma. To talk about their mental health freely no matter the state.
A Social Enterprise...
Distinguishing You Are Collective as a social enterprise wasn't even a question, we knew we wanted to give back and we knew we wanted to be able to give it all the brain power and human hours we could.
"A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being."
Creating A Brand We Value...
The idea of apparel struck us with the immense inspiration from good company's like Tom's Shoes and tentree. What better way to create awareness than wearing your message. A message of Empowerment. Inclusiveness. Community. Safety. Understanding.
We started by sourcing Made In Canada, sustainable goods to further foster our social impact. We reached out to local mental health initiatives to see how we could help. How could we make this work together? Speaking our truth while supporting current services and initiatives.
In our first year, we donated 10% of each item purchased from the OG Collection to Foundry Kelowna, operated by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna for a total of $462.28.
As of 2020, we are committing to funding 1,000,000 counselling sessions across Canada. One in Five Canadians reported needing mental health care in 2018. Half of them said their needs were partially met or unmet. The most frequently mentioned barriers were not knowing where to get help or not being able to afford to pay.
Our #1MillionCampaign is something we've been excited to share and work on to make a greater impact in the mental health and illness community.