Uni | Mental Health

After spending what seemed to be the longest 9 hours of my life in A&E, it really dawned on me how much of an issue we have in the UK regarding mental health and how common it has become.

The words mental health can be pretty daunting and I know a lot of people immediately think of a crazy person, but mental health simply refers to the health of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. This ranges from loneliness to phobias, bipolar disorder to anxiety and post natal depression to self-harm. The conversation around mental health is a delicate one but one that should be discussed openly, honestly and regularly. I myself have had my own experience with mental health, I’ve also seen it first hand in close friends and since coming to university I have gone out of my way to do my research and educate myself on everything surrounding this topic.

University has really made me a better person and has opened my eyes to so much. Despite being on a fashion course we are really encouraged to seek knowledge beyond the industry and really develop as young individuals ready to go out and make a difference in the world. Since my charities blog post I have been actively seeking ways in which I can do my part, and with an incredible following on social media along with my up and coming Youtube Channel, I thought what better first step than to spread awareness from the platform I have been given. This blog post is my first step to get the ball rolling.

So starting with signs and symptoms

This year Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019, and the theme for 2019 is Body Image.

Uni | What Can I Do?

After today’s seminar on charities and brand collaborations with charities, it really got me thinking about what charities I connect with, what charities mean a lot to me, and what I can do to help. And so this evening I went out to create a list of charities that I would like to support in 2019. 

Cancer research UK is a charity that is very close to my heart and is one that I have supported from a very young girl, and so that took top spot on my list. But then after I found that I was stuck, I realised that shockingly I didn’t know of that many charities and the ones I did know of I didn’t connect with personally. And so I started out by listing what type of charities I would like get behind and what issues I feel strongly about. I knew I wanted to get behind an organisation that worked to help period poverty, an organisation that worked to help women who had been victims of sexual violence, an organisation that worked to help refugees and an organisation that worked to help mental health. 

In my research I came across Plan international, My Body Back

Uni | Innovative Brands I’m Loving

Currently in my fashion studies we are exploring the world of innovation and what it takes to be an innovative brand. In my research so far I have come across a variety of new brands who I believe to be very innovative, as well as a changed perceptions on a few old brands who I would have never described to be innovative at all.

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So kick starting with the new, I first came across beauty brand ‘Function of Beauty’ which is a bespoke shampoo and conditioner brand based in New York. The concept behind ‘Function of Beauty’ is to give individuals the best possible hair products that cater to their own personal needs and goals by gathering data from their own online questionnaire. They are big on individuality, diversity, authenticity and creativity as well as social status, making them the ideal brand to a Gen Z audience, similarly to brands like Saturday Skin and Glossier. What makes ‘Function of Beauty’ so innovative is the customisable element to their products, in which they are able to produce a range of products for a range of consumers and each one being nothing like the other. For me this is very important, as I am a mixed race and so I struggle to find a shampoo and conditioner that works for my scalp condition, hair texture and hair condition.

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Next up is Drunk Elephant which is a skincare brand I came across not too long ago on Pinterest, and then again on Cult Beauty whilst getting my monthly shopping fix. Apart from their clean clinical Instagrammable packaging and beauty shelf worthiness, what really intrigued me about the brand was their strong ethos of excluding ‘question mark’ ingredients. After reading about this, I immediately thought of ‘ The Ordinary’ another skincare brand who pride themselves in only using the best ingredients and keeping ingredients to a minimal. However, after digging a little deeper I discovered that Drunk Elephant research well into the skin as an organ and so from this have come up with the ‘Suspicious Six’ which are 6 ingredients at the root of almost every skin issue we come across today. The suspicious 6 include silicones, essential oils, chemical screens, SLS, drying alcohols and fragrances/dyes which they avoid using these at all costs. It was then I saw Drunk Elephant as an innovative brand, because unlike many skincare brands they look at solving problematic ingredients for the skin and works around using those rather than looking at solving problematic skin. To me this is something very new and in some ways quite disruptive, and so I’m excited to get my hands on some Drunk Elephant products.

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And then there was Fenty Beauty. Now to me this brand didn’t seem very innovative, I feel like I was just so excited about it being Rihanna’s line that I didn’t take much in of the brand itself. So after doing my research which I wish I did a lot earlier, I have a new found respect for not only Fenty Beauty, but Rihanna as a business woman coming into the beauty industry. I know you all know what I’m referring to when I talk about Fenty Beauty so I’m not going to described it to you and you give you a break down, but instead I want to highlight what made it one of the most innovative beauty brands to date. So in terms of diversity Fenty Beauty offered 40 shades of foundations to a option-starved beauty consumer who had been deprived of their true match up until this point, creating an inclusive feel to her brand rather than an exclusive one. This recognition of needing more options within the beauty industry for women of colour, lead to a variety of women having an immediate emotional connection to the brand and therefore this disrupted the industry who had never seen this happen before. I think personally for me, I didn’t immediately see this as an innovation because it was something that needed to be done and so for me was an expectation of Rihanna. But now with the knowledge I have, I can see how big of a move this was for anyone in the Beauty Industry whether it be Rihanna or not.

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And lastly is Milk Makeup which is a 100% vegan cosmetic brand who promote clean beauty and raise awareness of environmental issues surrounding make up. What I found very innovative about this brand was their inclusive campaigns promoting gender fluidity, and how authentic their approach was. Gender fluidity is still something quite new and something quite sensitive to discuss in some parts of the world, and so to put this conversation at the front of your brand is very bold. COO Dianna Ruth stated “People are more complex than their gender. I think it’s refreshing to see different options in packaging, formats and formulas in beauty”.And so this is another brand I will be keeping an eye on.

I want to take this time to thank you for reading my post, and for coming with me on my educational journey.

What brands have you come across lately that you find innovative? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X